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Update: Nanaimo RCMP make arrest in possible hate-motivated crime

Visiting businessman required surgery after assault in Nanaimo hotel room

Police made an arrest after an alleged assault at a Nanaimo hotel earlier this week.

Gabriel Nelson, 28, of Qualicum Beach has been charged with aggravated assault, forcible confinement and robbery.

Nanaimo RCMP advised that they made the arrest Friday following the release of a surveillance photo of the person allegedly responsible for the assault.

“Shortly threafter, the ongoing investigation led to the identification of the suspect, who was arrested without incident near the Terminal Park Mall…” said Cpl. Jon Stuart, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “Our investigation is continuing and will include looking at what may have motivated this assault.”

According to police, a businessman who had been visiting Nanaimo and staying in a downtown hotel contacted police just after 8:30 a.m. on Thursday to report some of his property had been stolen. The victim met another man in a licenced premises and together went to a hotel room. Once there, the victim reported he was assaulted, tied up and threatened, and some property was stolen.

Police said the victim received numerous injuries and was taken to hospital, where he required surgery.

Stuart said last week that RCMP is “trying to determine if the victim was targeted based on his sexual orientation.”

If anyone has information on this case, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at, text 274637 with keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.