By Shurtz, Delon on May 20, 2020.
Police continue to investigate a fight near Galt Gardens Friday, but struggle to find any eyewitnesses willing to discuss the incident with investigators.
Insp. Jason Walper said Tuesday during a media briefing at the police station that officers have questioned many people but few will talk to them about what they saw or heard. And those who have talked provided contradictory stories, making it hard for officers to find out what started the fight about 8 p.m. on the southwest side of the park.
Police arrived within minutes after receiving a call that a group of people was fighting in the street, but when officers arrived the disturbance had broken up and the people involved had scattered throughout the park and along the streets. Police said they canvassed the area and spoke to several people, including a man who admitted he had been in a fight, but did not want to get involved with the investigation. No other witnesses, victims or persons of interest were located or identified at that time.
Comments on social media accuse two men of walking through the park and attacking homeless people, and claim that when officers arrived they didn’t talk to the men – who allegedly were still in the area – and blamed instead the homeless and told them to leave the area.
Walper said, however, the responding officer spoke to many individuals, but none co-operated. He added if the two suspects were still in the park, the officer was not aware of it, but police identified them later and spoke to them the following day when they provided statements.
Walper said there’s no evidence to suggest it was a targeted attack, but that it began as a verbal altercation before turning into a fight. He also said there’s no evidence to support any suggestion the fight was racially motivated and he hopes it doesn’t cause any racial tension in the city.
“We have no indication to believe this was a hate crime,” he said.
Walper said police are aware of the rumours and allegations circulating in the community, but urge anyone with first-hand information – people involved in, or who saw the incident, or anyone with a video of the altercation – and who has not already been in contact, to come forward so they can be interviewed.
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