Vancouver police are investigating a possible hate crime after an elderly person was sprayed with bears in Chinatown on Friday.
The 87-year-old victim, a local resident, was standing at a bus stop near Pender and Columbia streets around 11:40 a.m. when a stranger approached him and made racist remarks. The attacker sprayed him in the face and fled, police said in a Saturday press release.
At least one passer-by stopped to help and a nearby company called 911. The victim was “traumatized” with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
“Everything indicates that this incident was totally unprovoked and may have been fueled by anti-Asian hatred,” Const said. Tania Visintin in the release.
“People who live and work in Chinatown deserve to feel safe, valued and respected.”
Plagued by public safety concerns, Chinatown entrepreneurs are calling for government help
Vancouver police released two CCTV footage of the suspect on Saturday.
3 more cases of monkeypox confirmed in Quebec, bringing Canada’s total to 5. coming
Does Flair play fair? Experts weigh in on the airline’s ‘exclusivity’ deals
Police are also investigating whether the attack is related to offensive graffiti that appeared outside Dr. Sun Yat-Sen appeared. They said the word “Shhh,” written on the red gates in white paint, was interpreted by many as a response aimed at Chinatown residents who have recently spoken out about neighborhood crime and safety.
According to the VPD, graffiti reports and anti-Asian hate crimes in Chinatown increased by 300 percent and 425 percent in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
“Violent and unprovoked attacks, rampant graffiti and street disorder are horrific, and these incidents continue to affect people’s sense of security,” Visintin said.
Destroyed Chinese Cultural Center gate in Vancouver
The VPD said on Saturday it has increased patrols in Chinatown as investigators from the hate crime team and the serious crimes section delve into Friday morning’s attack.
The suspect is described as a man of 1.80 meters tall, between 30 and 40 years old. He was wearing a black jacket, dark pants, a gray baseball cap and gray shoes with a red trim. He was carrying a black backpack.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 604-717-4034.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.