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Four men charged in Edmonton with alleged hate crimes

Investigators have charged four men with more than two dozen criminal offences that police allege were motivated by hate.

Several of the charges relate to assaults on two men and a woman.

Police say four men were seen handing out flyers about a white supremacist group at a downtown Edmonton light-rail transit station one night last month.

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They were kicked off the train by security officers several stations down the line and walked down Whyte Avenue - a popular stretch of bars, restaurants and shops - where they continued to hand out flyers. They also posted them on poles and pedestals.

Police say the group eventually went to a bar and directed hateful and racist comments at certain individuals.

"The group of males allegedly began targeting particular individuals in the bar that were of a non-Caucasian background or who appeared to be of an alternate sexual orientation," police said in a release Tuesday.

The men went to a second bar and targeted a 25-year-old man. The complainant was allegedly intimidated with racial comments and punched several times.

The group then moved to a third bar where they again directed racial comments at other patrons. Police said a 20-year-old woman was punched in the face several times. A 23-year-old man who tried to help her was also assaulted.

None of the injuries to the people who were attacked was life-threatening.

The suspects fled, but were quickly identified by police patrolling the area and arrested.

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The hate crimes unit took over the investigation and laid charges last week. They include criminal harassment, assault, assault with a weapon and uttering threats.

Charged are James Andrew Brooks, 25; David Roger Goodman, 18; Jason Anthony Anderson, 32; and Keith Virgil Decu, 32. They were all released from custody with numerous conditions and are to appear in court March 17.

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