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Canadian prosecutors say a scathing letter calling on a family to "move or euthanize" their autistic teenage son does not constitute a hate crime, but Ontario police are considering other charges.
"Despite the hateful language used, the Crown Attorney's office has advised that the content of the letter falls below the threshold for a hate crime," the Durham Regional Police Service said.
Spokesman David Selby told the The Globe and Mail that although the letter does not meet the "high standards" required under the criminal code, "it doesn't mean we're not taking this very seriously."
"It's obviously a disturbing letter, and we have a number of people working on the case," he said.
The department has not said whether the letter writer has been identified.
The anonymous screed was delivered last week to Brenda Millson's home in Newcastle, east of Toronto. The author — who signed off as "One pissed off mother!" — railed against Millson's 13-year-old grandson, Maxwell Begley, who regularly spends time at her house in the summer.
The typed letter complained about a "whaling" noise the boy makes while outside. "It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!" the writer said. "Go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!!"
"Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!" the letter stated.
Max's family has been overwhelmed with support from friends, neighbors and strangers since the letter went viral. His mother and grandmother haven't been able to keep up with the well-wishers.
"I haven't even had the chance to call good friends, but it's great that they're thinking of me," Karla Begley, of nearby Oshawa, told the Toronto Star.
"At least Max can go to my mom's now and if kids know he's there they will come and see him," she added. "He would love nothing more, that's all he's ever wanted, you know?"