London police arrest one after ‘physical altercation’ at Pride event

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A man was arrested Saturday afternoon following a disruption at a London Pride event, police say.

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It was about 2:15 p.m. when police say officers responded to an emergency call regarding a large disturbance at Wortley Road and Duchess Avenue, where an event that’s coinciding with Pride week in London (though officials say it’s not formally part of the city-wide celebration) was being held in Wortley Village. Police made public few other details.

“A large physical altercation took place in the surrounding area. Upon police arrival, a male has been taken into police custody for several criminal charges . . . he was not a part of the festivities,” police said in a statement.

The investigation was ongoing, and police were asking anyone who may have information or video of the incident to please contact them at 519-661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

It’s been an ugly few months in Southwestern Ontario regarding anti-LGBTQ incidents. In Norwich, a small town just south of Woodstock, Pride flags were stolen and a man from Tillsonburg, Jake Dey, was charged. Dey then gave a 30-minute address at a Norwich Township council meeting, during which he compared the Pride movement to Nazi Germany.

About 100 local citizens attended the most recent township council meeting, last week, and demanded the mayor’s resignation for allowing the remarks. The mayor, Larry Martin, has refused to resign.

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Saturday’s event appeared to draw a large crowd to the Wortley Village green. Stephen D’Amelio, vice-president of Pride London Festival, noted the Wortley gathering is not formally part of their events, which are slated to continue until a final parade next Sunday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated to reflect that the Wortley Village Pride event is not officially part of the broader Pride London Festival.

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