A Vancouver couple left their home in the middle of the night because they did not feel safe after being reportedly harassed by a neighbour.

Tendayi Moyo spoke with Narcity about what happened to him and his partner and what the Vancouver Police Department did about it.

He said that a man moved into the laneway house across the alley from where he and his partner are living.

The landlords of the laneway house were letting someone stay there as a guest to help them to get back on their feet, said Moyo. 

"So when we met [...], we actually did try to embrace him and into that community," he said.

"However, after a very short time, I would say within a few days or a couple of weeks, I started to realize his political views and his leanings, and he started to display some pretty alarming behaviour."

What is the accusation?

Moyo alleges that the man was verbally abusive towards him and he told the police.

In his official statement to the VPD, he says that once when he was outside his house at night, the suspect started talking to him. 

Moyo, who is Black, says that the suspect threatened him by saying “I’ll see you at your protests. I’ll be carrying a handgun, wearing a bulletproof vest, and I’ll bring friends.” 

"This wasn't the first time that he had made veiled death threats towards me," said Moyo, who also received threatening notes left on his door.

What are the police doing?

Moyo said that the police's advice on the matter "from the start has been, essentially, don’t worry about it," and that the suspect was a troubled but harmless individual and he should stand his ground to defend himself if he was approached again.

He says VPD told him that if they recommend charges, it's not likely that they'll move forward.

VPD confirmed to Narcity that the suspect is due in court in November 2020 and they have recommended charges of uttering threats.

If there is a hate crime element to this incident, police told Narcity that would be up to a judge to decide later at sentencing.

What's next for Moyo? 

Moyo and his partner no longer feel safe in their home.

They have been staying with friends or staying at hotels and they will not be going back to their East Vancouver home to live. 

"Honestly, it breaks my heart, but we no longer feel not only not comfortable, but we no longer feel safe in our own environment."

He says that the suspect "speaks on multiple occasions [...] about coming together about hanging Black men, about going to protests with the gun."

"I just want people to know that white supremacy is alive and well, and we are not insulated from it."

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