Skip to main content

Man charged after making 'hate-related comments,' allegedly refusing to leave Hamilton mosque

Hamilton Police
Share

A 54-year-old man is facing a hate crime charge after allegedly entering and refusing to leave a mosque in Hamilton over the weekend.

The incident happened on June 14 at an unnamed masjid in the city’s downtown core, Hamilton Police Service (HPS) said.

Police said that they were called to the mosque at about 12:40 a.m. after receiving a call for service about a male trespasser who had entered the building through an insecure door and made his way to a classroom with a teacher and students.

The suspect then allegedly made “hate-related comments” and wouldn’t leave, they said.

“Upon leaving the building, the male ripped up an English copy of the Quran that he brought with him,” HPS said.

Police said the male was removed from the property without incident.

Video evidence and witness statement provided to police resulted in the arrest of 54-year-old Wayne Voorthuyzen, of Hamilton. He has been charged with criminal harassment.

Hamilton police said that this incident has been classified as a hate crime based on the accused’s statements and actions.

“Hamilton Police Service stands with and supports the Muslim community in denouncing Islamophobia. Incidents of this nature create fear and question the sense of belonging for diverse communities. We appreciate the impact this incident had on the community, especially those directly involved in the incident,” they said in a news release.

Further, investigators said they increased their presence at the mosque over the weekend and are “working collaboratively with the mosque’s administration to assure the community of their safety.”

“Hate crime in Hamilton is not acceptable. Left unchecked, hate crime can have a far reaching impact on communities,” HPS said.

Hate crimes can be reported online at www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca, by calling 905-546-4925, or in person at any Hamilton police station.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Who is Usha Vance, the wife of Trump's running mate?

JD Vance has had several introductions to the American people: as the author of a memoir on what ails the White working class, as a newly elected Republican senator in his home state of Ohio and, on Monday, as his party’s nominee for vice president. His wife, Usha, has been by his side through it all.

Stay Connected