Source: X

Halifax police are requesting public assistance in identifying a group of Middle Eastern men who beat and injured a lesbian couple following a confrontation in the city’s downtown.

Emma MacLean was celebrating her birthday with her girlfriend, Tori, June 22 when they were catcalled by a group of Middle Eastern men, the couple alleges. The calling turned into slurs and an alleged assault after the men found out the couple were gay.

“We are working on identifying everyone who was involved,” Halifax Regional Police told True North in an email Thursday afternoon.

The police arrived on the scene at the 1600 block of Argyle Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at 1:50 a.m. on June 23, but most of the suspects were gone by then.

A video of the incident recorded by a bystander shows over ten men surrounding a woman while kicking and dragging her around. Another woman, identified as MacLean, can be seen trying to fight the men off of her girlfriend.

In an interview with CTV, MacLean said she was afraid to go back downtown after the incident, which left both of them with injuries.

She said that her girlfriend was left with bruises on her arm and under her eye, while she was given a black eye and now has a chipped tooth and a broken nose from the attack.

The altercation began when the men catcalled her, and Tory told the men to back off, saying, “Hey, that’s my girlfriend.”

This remark led to the group hurling “homophobic slurs.”

In a Facebook post, MacLean described the men as “Middle Eastern” and said they were “believed to be from Syria.”

After the altercation, Tori followed the men and, according to MacLean, verbally confronted them saying that their behaviour was not acceptable.

This is when MacLean said the interaction escalated into a physical attack.

“I see Tori being pushed on the stairs right in front of the BMO Centre. They are cement stairs, and she’s on her back. That’s when all the men start punching and kicking her,” MacLean said in the interview.

MacLean shouted at them to stop attacking her girlfriend. When they didn’t listen, she said, her “fight or flight” instinct kicked in, and she jumped on one of their backs, putting one of them into a chokehold to restrain him and save her girlfriend.

By the time police arrived, the fight had ended, though according to MacLean one of the attackers stayed and said that it was the girls who attacked them.

She said that the police were given the ID of a man involved in the attack, though despite this Halifax police still need help identifying the men.

Police are urging anyone with information about the incident or video from the area to call them at 902-490-5020. 

“Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a secure web tip at or using the P3 Tips App,” the Halifax police said.