Hamilton Police release name of man arrested in anti-Muslim hate crime investigation


Published July 14, 2021 at 5:00 pm


The Hamilton Police Service (HPS) released the name of the 40-year-old man arrested in an anti-Muslim hate crime investigation.

Vince Licata appeared in court on Wednesday (July 14) and faces three counts of uttering threats, two counts of assault with a weapon, dangerous operation of a vehicle, and failure to comply with his probation.

HPS initially said the man was from Hamilton but corrected it to Cambridge. 

Hamilton Police Service Chief Frank Bergen issued a video message in response to the hate crime investigation.

“We continue to be outraged by these blatant acts of hatred,” said Bergen.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Monday (July 12) night a mother and daughter were walking through a parking lot in a plaza in the Ancaster Meadowlands.

Police say “an interaction occurred after a vehicle pulling out of a parking spot almost struck one of the victims.”

The interaction escalated with the suspect uttering threats towards the victims while using Islamaphobic slurs targeting the Muslim community, according to police.

The victims reportedly ran across the street and hid behind bushes while the suspect searched for them.

“We stand with the Muslim community here in Hamilton and across the country in condemning Islamaphobia,” said Bergen. “As chief, I’m offering my support and assurance that Hamilton Police will continue to do everything we can to ensure your safety.”

“Left unchecked, we know that hate crimes have far-reaching implications on communities,” he added. “Right now, we know Hamilton’s Muslim community is feeling unsafe in the city.”

Police say the suspect eventually located the mother and daughter and threatened to kill them.

One of the victims ran screaming for help before witnesses intervened before the suspect fled the area.

“To those individuals who witnessed the attack on Monday night and intervened, thank you; it took courage,” said Bergen. “Your actions demonstrate the community we want to be. We must continue to come together and speak out against hate in any form.”

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