The attack happened outside the Mehran Restaurant, near Toronto's gay district. Photo: Stephan Woronko

Guilty plea in gay-bashing case

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By Philippe Devos

The man who attacked a Ryerson professor he thought was gay pleaded guilty to assault Tuesday.

Steven Wong, 22, of Murray St. in Brantford, say nervously in the prisoners box as Judge E. Ormston heard the case. Wong offered an apology before sentencing.

“I’d just like to say I’m sorry for what I did — for what it’s worth,” Wong said.

Judge Ormston sentenced him to four months in prison followed by one year probation. Wong will also be counselled for alcohol abuse and homophobia.

“This was in fact a gay bashing,” the judge said.

The attack happened shortly after eight a.m. on Dec. 14, the last day of exams before the winter break. George Bielmeier and Dennis Haubrich, both Ryerson social work professors, were on their way to supervise an exam when Wong and two other men stopped them in front of the Mehran Restaurant on the corner of McGill and Church Streets.

“He outstretched his arms to block our passage along Church Street,” Bielmeier recalled in a telephone interview.

Bielmeier then found himself pinned between Wong, the wall of the restaurant and the two other men. “He just turned, grabbed and pushed me up against that wall. I looked into his eyes and thought, ‘Oh my God, this man is crazed.’”

“My colleague said, ‘Hey, leave him alone,’ and Steven [Wong] turned around enough for me to pull out from under and proceed south.”

Wong shouted “You’re faggots!” before attacking again.

“He grabbed me from the back, pushed me around, pushed at me and said, ‘You fucking fag.’ That’s when he kicked me in the face.”

By this time police were on their way. A parking control officer witnessed the incident and radioed for assistance.

With the help of his colleague, Bielmeier was able to get away and run across the street where two police cars had pulled up.

Wong and the two men fled through a parking lot but police apprehended them. Wong was the only one arrested. But the violence didn’t end there.

“When he was in the police car he was incredibly violent, kicking at the police car doors,” the victim said. “They even had to take him away before they completed my statement. They were concerned that he was going to kick in the window.”

Bielmeier was not seriously hurt in the attack.

 

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