One couple's evening was interrupted when a stranger on a bike yelled a racial slur and spat on the woman. The Calgary spitting incident isn't isolated, either. The pair who filmed the incident say that others were assaulted in the same way that day. They claim that police have since identified the man and may charge him.
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"It was a big reality check for me," said Jessica Lau to Narcity. "I've never experienced racism while living in Calgary until yesterday."
A video posted to Instagram on Saturday, July 18, showed Lau and her boyfriend travelling through the Riverwalk pathway in Calgary's Inglewood neighbourhood. It was roughly 8 p.m., she said, when she passed someone riding their bike. He spat on her as he went by and called her a racial slur.
"From the video you can't exactly see that the spit landed on me but it actually sprayed the side of my face and landed on my leg as well," she said.
Lau said that after the video stopped recording, the stranger approached a Caucasian couple behind them and spat on them as well.
"They were like, 'yeah he spat on us too and called us stupid white people,' something along the lines of that," she said.
Lau has since reported the incident and showed police the video.
The couple then put out a notice on social media asking others to report whether they experienced a similar attack on the same day using her case number.
After that, she said the police received a ton of similar complaints from the same day.
"It's definitely not his first time and I don't think it would be his last if he didn't get caught," she said.
Lau said the incident shocked her at first but then made her feel sad — not for herself, but for the person who spat on her.
"Obviously something has happened to this dude to make him feel like that's okay and to have so much hate towards people of all races apparently," she said.
"I just didn't take it personally. I knew it was him and he is mentally ill," Lau continued.
She hopes the stranger would eventually learn that his actions aren't acceptable.
Meanwhile, she asks that anyone who recognizes or was attacked by the man call the police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.