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The VPD Need Your Help To Identify Suspect In Racially Motivated Attack

racist attack vancouver

The Vancouver Police are turning to the public to help identify a suspect involved in a racist attack against an elderly Asian man with dementia last month in East Vancouver.

On March 13, a 92-year-old victim, who suffers from severe dementia, wandered into a convenience store near Nanaimo Street and East 1st Avenue. Staff at the convenience store were trying to assist the elderly male, when the suspect began yelling racist remarks at the victim that included comments about COVID-19.

Moments later outside the store, the suspect shoved the elderly man, which caused him to fall to the ground and hit his head. The suspect left the scene before police arrived.

Racist Attack

Police are investigating the assault as a hate crime.

The VPD describe the suspect as a white man in his 50s. He is believed to be six feet tall with a heavy build. He has dark, short hair and is balding on the top. The man was wearing a grey, button up shirt over a black t-shirt with a white skull design on the front, black plants and black running shoes. He was also wearing a thick, gold bracelet, a gold necklace and several gold rings.

racist attack vancouver
Photo: VPD

“Everything about this assault and the behaviour of the suspect is despicable,” said Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “As a police department, we do not tolerate incidents motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate. It’s even more disturbing considering the victim’s age.”

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Hate Crimes

In recent weeks, Vancouver Police have seen an increase in reports of anti-Asian hate-motivated incidents and criminal behaviour. Eleven hate crimes were reported to police in March. Five of those reports (45 per cent) had an anti-Asian element.

So far in 2020, there have been a total of nine anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police. In comparison, there were 12 in all of 2019.

“Hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents are generally underreported. We believe the increase in March is indicative of a larger issue,” adds Visintin. “We are making a plea to victims or people who witness hate crimes to please come forward and report the incidents to police so they can be investigated.”

Anyone with information is asked to call VPD investigators at 604-717-2763 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

For more stories around Vancouver, head to our News section.

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