Richmond RCMP seek witnesses to alleged assault involving racial slurs

Richmond RCMP are seeking witnesses to an alleged assault, involving racial slurs, that took place near the Ironwood area earlier this month. 

According to RCMP, police arrived on scene at Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road at 2:08 p.m. May 17, following reports of an assault in progress.

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The complainant told Mounties that a blue BMW had pulled up beside his parked vehicle, at 10820 No. 5 Road. The man inside the BMW then allegedly started yelling racial slurs.

The complainant got back inside his car and locked his doors, at which point the man allegedly pounded on the front passenger side window of the complainant’s car while continuing to make racist comments.

According to RCMP, the complainant then decided to leave his car and seek refuge in a local business, but the man followed him.

That’s when the alleged assault occurred, according to RCMP, who said that while they responded to the scene within minutes, the man had already left the area.

Richmond RCMP say they canvassed the area for video surveillance, and, in the following days after the alleged assault, were able to identify and arrest a suspect.

However, the complainant said there were other people in the area who witnessed the incident, and RCMP are now hoping to speak with those witnesses.

“An incident like this affects everyone in our community,” said Cpl. Adriana Peralta.

“While various evidence has been gathered, we want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed it. We can also provide an opportunity for victim support, in many languages, and we are asking anyone who hasn’t already to come forward.”

RCMP said that “all racially motivated incidents will be thoroughly investigated, and that hate-motivated crimes are treated seriously.”

According to RCMP, the man in question is described as Caucasian, 5’8 tall with a fairly athletic build, very short hair that’s greying on the side, and spoke with an accent.

He was wearing a blue dress shirt, grey vest and black dress slacks.

Mounties say the investigation, under Richmond RCMP’s General Investigation Sections Unit, is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212 or email Richmond_Tips@rcmp-grc.gc.ca, and quote file number 2020-13295.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

This is the second incident allegedly involving racial slurs that Richmond RCMP has investigated this month.

On May 8, two women of Chinese descent were walking near Garry Point Park when two men in a parked car started yelling racial slurs at the women. One of the men later apologized.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) said it has seen a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 22, VPD said it’s opened 29 investigative files for anti-Asian hate crimes to date this year, compared to only four in the same time in 2019.

Overall, VPD said that it has identified 77 hate-associated police files to date in 2020, up from 51 at the same time last year.

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