5 teens charged in vicious beating of musician
Published Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:39AM PDT
Two 14-year-old girls are among five teenagers charged for the vicious attack against a Metro Vancouver musician this weekend.
Michael Taylor was bussing home from a gig at the Shangri-La hotel in downtown Vancouver late Friday night when police say he saw a group of youths harassing a fellow passenger.
Taylor tried to intervene, but was hit in the head from behind as he exited the bus in Surrey and knocked unconscious on the street.
The singer suffered head injuries, but has been released from hospital and is recovering at home.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said the girls took off their high-heeled shoes and beat Taylor with them.
Five teenagers have now been charged with assault causing bodily harm. They've been released from police custody on a promise to appear next month.
Police have not said whether they would seek to have the incident designated as a hate crime.
Bandmate Tony Chamberlist said the assailants used racial slurs during the attack, and stole Taylor's carbon fibre RainSong guitar. It has since been recovered by police, though his band doesn't know the instrument's condition.
Diane Lines, who plays with Taylor and Chamberlist in the trio Acoustic Groove, said the guitarist has a two-year-old daughter and is expecting a second child this month.
He'll be unable to play for about a week while he recovers from the assault, but Lines said their fans have been chipping in to help out.
"People came to our gig last night, they brought cheques, they brought cash to put in a fund for Mike … it's been lovely," she said.
A trust fund has been set up to help Taylor's family at Vancity Credit Union. You can make donations directly at any Vancityfor the Michael Taylor Trust Fund (Branch #18, Account #427245)
The group is planning to host a fundraiser for him, the details of which will be posted on the Acoustic Groove website and Facebook page.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Julia Foy