By TONY BLAIS, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - A racist Edmonton man has been put behind bars for his part in a hate-motivated attack on a black man that saw the victim taunted and blasted with bear spray.
Dylan Trommel, 23, was sentenced to 60 days in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to criminal harassment.
Provincial court Judge Robert Philp told Trommel his actions were "evil" and said people should be free to walk around the city without being racially targeted.
"It's a terrible thing to reflect on someone's heritage, skin colour or creed," he said. "Your comments to this individual are absolutely inexcusable. There is no excuse for it."
Court heard victim Valentin Masepode, a 32-year-old student originally from the Congo, had been in a 7-Eleven at 4939 118 Ave. after midnight on Sept. 27 when he was confronted by Trommel and a woman, who are both white.
Prosecutor Tania Sarkar told court Masepode was talking on his cellphone when Trommel said to the woman: "Did you hear what the n****r is saying" and they laughed.
The woman then turned to Masepode and said "n****r" which surprised the victim because he had not done anything to warrant this "extreme hatred," said Sarkar.
Court heard Trommel -- a short, muscled and heavily tattooed man -- then said: "This is our country, n****r."
Sarkar said both Masepode and others in the store were worried for their safety, however one customer told the pair to leave the victim alone and they exited the store.
The Good Samaritan offered to escort Masepode out, but he was too scared of the "imminent danger" and stayed by the store's surveillance camera, said Sarkar, adding the woman and Trommel were gesturing to him to come out.
Court heard the woman then re-entered the store, went up to Masepode and blasted him in the face with bear spray, which was captured on videotape. The pair then fled.
They were identified through the surveillance tape and arrested three months later.
Sarkar said the attack was aggravating because it was "motivated by hate" and Masepode was targeted due to the colour of his skin.
Trommel told court he was sorry for what he had done.
"I was very intoxicated at the time and I apologize for my actions," said Trommel. "It was a very stupid thing."
The judge also ordered Trommel to submit a DNA sample for the national DNA databank in Ottawa.
Masepode, who is upgrading his Grade 12 at Grant MacEwan University and plans to study chemical engineering at the U of A in the fall, said he was "satisfied" with Trommel's sentence.
He said it took three months for the effects of the bear spray to wear off and he still gets nervous out in public.
"I don't talk to anybody because I am scared that something like this would happen again," said Masepode.
Lacey Snyder, 22, is slated to be in court May 18 on charges of criminal harassment, assault with a weapon, causing a disturbance, possession of a weapon and mischief.