Richmond RCMP seeking witnesses to alleged racist assault
VANCOUVER -- Mounties in Richmond are hoping to speak to witnesses of an alleged racist attack in their city.
The incident in question took place just after 2 p.m. on May 17, near the intersection of Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road.
Richmond RCMP were called to the scene for reports of an assault in progress. Despite arriving within minutes, officers were unable to locate the man suspected of committing the assault, police said in a news release.
They said the victim of the alleged assault had parked his vehicle at 10820 No. 5 Rd. when a blue BMW pulled up beside him. The man inside allegedly started yelling racial slurs at the victim, who got out of his vehicle. Police said the alleged assailant also got out of his vehicle and continued harassing the victim.
The victim then got back into his vehicle and locked the doors, police said, while the suspect continued making racist remarks and allegedly began pounding on the victim's passenger's side window.
As this continued, police said, the victim decided to get out of his vehicle a second time and "seek refuge in a local business." When he tried to do this, the suspect followed him and allegedly assaulted him, police said.
Richmond RCMP were able to identify a suspect using surveillance video from the area, and they arrested him in the days following the incident. That said, the victim of the alleged assault believes there were other people in the area who witnessed what happened, and police are appealing to those witnesses to come forward.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212 or email Richmond_Tips@rcmp-grc.gc.ca and quote file number 2020-13295. Tips can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Police describe the suspect in the incident as a white man with a "fairly athletic" build and "very short hair" that was greying on the side. He stands 5'8" tall and spoke with an accent, police said.
He was wearing a blue dress shirt, grey vest and black dress slacks at the time of the incident.
Police did not describe the victim's appearance, but confirmed to CTV News Vancouver in an email that the victim was Asian.
Incidents of racist abuse and assaults targeting people of Asian descent have spiked in Metro Vancouver this year, prompting condemnation from provincial officials and local police departments.
Last week, the Vancouver Police Department said it has investigated 29 anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the year. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan have all condemned the increase in such incidents seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.