Suspect wanted after assault on 87-year-old man in Vancouver’s Chinatown – BC News

Vancouver police are looking for a man after an alleged assault in Chinatown that may have been racially motivated.

On Friday morning (May 20), an 87-year-old man who lives in Chinatown was out for his morning walk around 11:40 a.m., according to a police press release.

While standing at the bus stop near Pender and Columbia streets, a stranger approached the man, made racist comments, then sprayed the elder in the face. A passerby witnessed the attack and helped the man.

“Everything indicates that this incident was not provoked and that it may have been fueled by anti-Asian hatred,” said Constable Tania Visintin.

After attacking the elder with pepper spray, the suspect fled.

“Given the time of day and location of this incident, we believe there were witnesses who have yet to come forward. We also believe that people will recognize the suspect and be able to assist us in the investigation. identify,” adds Visintin.

The victim was traumatized by the attack and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspect is described as a man in his 30s about 6 feet tall. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a black jacket, dark pants, a gray baseball cap, and gray shoes with red trim and white soles. He was carrying a black backpack.

Police are now investigating whether the attack is linked to other racist incidents.

“Vancouver police are currently investigating whether Friday’s attack is related to offensive graffiti that appeared this week on the red doors outside the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, located a few meters from the location where the senior was assaulted,” state police said in the statement. . “The graffiti – the word ‘Shhh’ in white paint – was interpreted by many in the community as a backlash against Chinatown residents who increasingly spoke out about crime and safety issues in their neighborhood. .”

In just a few years, anti-Asian hate crimes and graffiti in Chinatown have both increased.

“Between 2019 and 2021, there was a 300% increase in reported graffiti incidents and a 425% increase in anti-Asian hate crime incidents in Chinatown,” police said. “Yet nearly two-thirds of crime goes unreported in the neighborhood, according to merchants and residents who spoke to VPD about their concerns.”

Other officers are on patrol in Chinatown, police say, to address community concerns.

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