Arrest made in toppling of Sir John A. Macdonald statue at Hamilton’s Gore Park

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Published August 18, 2021 at 8:17 pm

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Hamilton Police made an arrest after the Sir John A. Macdonald statue was pulled down with rope at Gore Park on Saturday (Aug. 14).

According to police, approximately 200 individuals attended the Indigenous Freedom Rally, which began at City Hall and then moved to Gore Park.

At around 2:15 p.m., police say a female was seen scaling the statue with a rope that was used to pull the statue down.

Once the statue was on the ground, police say further damage was caused using spray paint, a hammer, and a grinder. 

The damage is estimated to be in excess of $5,000.

The crowd eventually dispersed at around 3 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

Police say they received “numerous” tips to help identify the suspect; 56-year-old Miguel Martin Avila-Valarde from Toronto. He is facing a charge of Mischief over $5,000.

Hamilton Police anticipate laying further charges as the investigation continues.

The group, Defund Hamilton Police, identified Avila-Valarde as an Indigenous activist on Twitter and accused police of “targeting.”

Avila-Valarde was released on an undertaking and will appear in court at a later date.

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