Family of 92-year-old attacked in convenience store speaks out against racism
VANCOUVER -- The grandchildren of the 92-year-old man in the convenience store assault police say is racially motivated say their "gramps" is doing fine a month after the attack, and are speaking out against racism.
At the same time, the suspect’s family has also been making claims in conversations, social media, and private messages that no charges are coming — a claim the Vancouver police are quick to debunk.
"We have NOT told anyone they will not be charged," said Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver police in a statement to CTV News.
The VPD released a video this week of an attack in March at a 7-11 on Nanaimo Street and 1st Avenue. In the video, a larger man picks up an elderly ethnic Chinese man, pushes him outside and onto the curb.
He then returns outside and picks up the elderly man. CTV News has confirmed the man is Jamie Allen Bezanson.
Now, Bezanson’s son Lukas is claiming that no charges are coming. When a CTV News reporter approached his family home, a woman refused to answer questions, just saying, "We have no comment. You’ve done enough damage," before slamming the door.
At least 11 alleged hate crimes have been reported in March to Vancouver police, five of those with an anti-Asian sentiment.
The Chinese government has been criticized for being slow to act on the pandemic, which began in its Hubei province. But that is half a world away from ethnic Chinese citizens in Vancouver.
Chinese Canadian leaders say it’s time to stop being divisive and face this pandemic together.
"It’s alarming, disturbing and despicable that this type of incident is so upsetting to everyone of us in the community, as well as all Canadians," said Queenie Choo of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
The same note was struck in a statement by the Kwong family, who told CTV News in a message they’re grateful for the support of people in the community and the speed at which the suspect was identified.
"He is doing well after the incident," the man’s grandchildren wrote. "It has been heartwarming to have so many kind words of concern shared, and also to see the community band together to show they will not tolerate such treatment.
"Xenophobia is on the rise and we hope that as a community we can stand together to help protect the next person this may happen to. We can’t control the fact that bad things are going to happen, but it’s how we react to them that really matters. For the many negative incidents that occur we hope there are more acts of kindness as shown by our community."