Police investigate hate crime against black Stratford Festival actor

Police say the incident happened on Wednesday, Aug. 22

David Collins has been with the Stratford Festival for 10 seasons. He is currently starring in the production The Tempest. (Submitted)

Stratford police is investigating what it’s describing as a hate crime against a veteran Stratford Festival actor that’s left the man taking extra safety precautions.

David Collins was on his way to work on the afternoon of Aug. 22 when he noticed a note tucked underneath the windshield wiper of his car that read “Haill (sic) Hitler.”

“I picked it up, unfolded it and there was that lovely message there for me … it was badly spelled … It’s become one of the logos of white supremacy,” Collins said.

The 56-year-old black man, who lives in the southwestern Ontario city’s core, said the incident was targeted because his car was parked at a designated spot for him at an apartment building across the street.

“It definitely is a hate crime,” acting Insp. Mark Taylor of Stratford police said. “The wording itself is hate speech, so we take it very seriously.”

This note was tucked beneath the windshield wiper of Collins’ car. (Submitted by David Collins )

As well, Collins said someone also knocked over five of his paper recycling and leaf bags and the contents were strewn across the sidewalk and roadway.

Collins said he was “angry and frustrated” but not surprised, because he said he’s noticed incidents targeting the colour of his skin and other black minorities have increased in the last few years in Stratford.