A London, Ontario man is facing charges after he and his wife caused a disturbance at a Pride event Saturday in the city’s Old South neighbourhood.
London Police were called to the inaugural Wortley Village Pride celebration at 2:15 p.m. because of a “large disturbance.”
37-year-old Richard Sillers was charged with causing a disturbance and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Court documents show that Sillers was “shouting” and in possession of a “blunt object.”
A witness told The London Free Press that Pride event attendees had homophobic slurs hurled at them by people in pickup trucks.
Despite this, Sillers insists that he is not a homophobe, and claims he even has a member of the LGBTQ+ community in his family.
In a brief interview with The London Free Press on Tuesday, Sillers said, “they can run the narrative that I’m somehow homophobic or racist, but that’s not the story.”
“There’s a certain portion of reality and there’s a certain portion of assumption on there,” he added, noting that he has a family member who identifies as LGBTQ+.
A large police presence will be visible at this weekend’s Pride Parade, according to London Police Chief Steve Williams.
On his release from custody, Sillers was ordered to stay away from Wortley Road.
Sillers, owner of Rick’s Real Renovations, told The Free Press he is expecting to take a financial hit, but isn’t too concerned.
Sillers is expected to appear in court on August 25.