30 December 2011

Newmarket Couple Targeted With Racial Harassment

Before we post the "Toronto Star" article, we've learned that our friend John Marleau might be in a little trouble with the law again. We received a not from a reader saying that they saw Marleau at the court house (we assume the one downtown) and he looked less than pleased. So if that individual would like to get in touch with us again we would be very interested to know why he is in trouble now.

In the meantime, here's something else our readers can help with. The police can't seem to find out who is responsible for this harassment. Perhaps our readers can:

Racist vandalism shocks Newmarket couple
Published On Wed Dec 28 2011

Jayme Poisson Staff Reporter
A string of racist vandalism against a black man and his white partner has shocked a collegial Newmarket neighbourhood and pushed a couple to the brink.

The latest of three incidents happened sometime between Christmas Eve night and early Christmas morning, according to York Region police.

Rita Brown, who along with her partner, Seun Oyinsan, moved into a home this summer on quiet suburban Hodgson Dr., discovered the “N” word scratched on the hood of her car Christmas Day.

That came nearly 3 ½ months after two other attacks on their home and vehicles. During the first, on Sept. 

10, swastikas were spray-painted on the couple’s garage and their SUV was defaced with the “N” word and acid thrown on the sides. Nails hammered into small pieces of wood were also left under their tires.

Most alarmingly, Brown said, police received a message. She was told it said the couple wasn’t wanted in the neighbourhood, called her a “whore” and threatened: “We will kill if necessary.”

The second incident is believed to have occurred overnight between Sept. 16 and 17, according to police. Again, nails were left under the car tires and a racial epithet scratched into the paint.

Police installed a surveillance camera for a while, but failed to catch the perpetrators on camera. The terrorized couple had put their house up for sale, but took the sign down just before the holidays because they couldn’t get enough money for it.

Days later, on Christmas, the hateful vandal struck again. 

At home on Wednesday, Brown said the “For Sale” will be going back up. “We want out as soon as we can get out,” she said, adding of whoever is responsible: “Why are they doing this to us? It’s not fair.”

“We go out of the country to fight terrorists and then we have terrorists in our neighbourhood right here,” said Oyinsan, who came to Canada from Nigeria in 1996. Both are 54, and they’ve been together for nine months. This is the first time either has experienced such vitriol.

Brown added the attacks have scared her so much they have trouble sleeping at night, and lock all their doors and windows. Her grandchildren used to love to visit, but can’t anymore because she fears for their safety. 

The ordeal has also meant dealing with the financial cost of repairs.

On Wednesday, police Insp. Richard McCabe came by the house to offer Brown his support and tell her police were doing everything they could to catch the culprit.

McCabe also had a message for the perpetrator: “If we catch them, when this goes to court, we’re not going to be accepting any plea bargains. Any reduced sentencing. Our objective is that they’re going to jail,” he told the Star, adding he feels terrible about what the family is going through. 

Nearby residents said they were “disgusted” by the racist vandalism.

“It’s very disturbing to see what’s going on around here,” said neighbour Jean-Gui Roy, who also questioned whether the police are doing enough. “It wouldn’t have happened the second time if they were doing their job properly,” he said. 

Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen said he was “deeply disappointed and concerned that something like this could happen anywhere, let alone in my community.”

Van Bynen spoke with the couple earlier in the fall and said he would do so again this week. In the 30 years he’s lived in Newmarket, this is the first such incident, he said. 

“This is not the Newmarket that we all know. We are a community that embraces the richness of our cultural diversity.” 

York police are asking anyone with information about this crime to speak to investigators by calling 866-876-5423, ext. 7141; or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips. An anonymous tip can also be left at www.1800222tips.com, or text a tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.


Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that the neighbours spotted no one committing this crime on 3 separate occassions. From bitter experience, I know that most people care too little about racist crimes like this.Oyinsan is right----the cowards who commited this crime are Terrorists. I wish this couple all the best.

Anonymous said...

FYI, you can find out what Marleau is in hot water for simply by calling the clerk's office @ the Calgary courthouse where he was spotted. Depending on how integrated the Alberta system is, you can call any courthouse in Calgary and get Marleau's next date and the charges. Just tell the clerk you're looking to confirm a next appearance date and they'll provide the info.

Anonymous said...

It's none of your business as to what he's in court for.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually it is my right to know what he's in court for. As a private citizen, I do believe I'll be calling the clerk's office tomorrow! I wasn't going to bother, but now I'm oh so curious!

By the way, John is about as inconspicuous as a water buffalo giving birth when out in public. (just throwing it out there John.)

Anonymous said...

He lost it and robbed a donut shop.
He couldnt resist.LOL