The owners of the BerMax Caffé + Bistro on Corydon weren’t the victims of a robbery, assault and hate crime-fueled graffiti, according to Winnipeg police. They were the ones responsible for it.
Police were called to the establishment on April 18 and investigated the incident, but later determined it was completely staged.
The café was reportedly robbed, spray painted with anti-Semitic graffiti and a female employee allegedly assaulted and sent to hospital. Police say the ordeal was fabricated and no one outside of the establishment had any part in it.
The three owners of the café were arrested on Wednesday. Alexander Berent, 56, Oxana Berent, 48, and Maxim Berent, 29, each faces a charge of public mischief. They were released to appear in court at a later date.
“Hate-related crime is one of the most heinous acts we encounter as a society. It tears at the fabric of who we are as a country,” police said in a release.
“False allegations of hate crime trivialize the trauma that genuine victims endure. The Winnipeg Police Service fully investigates all reports of hate-related crime. We encourage the public to report any suspected incident.”