A global pandemic brings out the best and the worst of us. In B.C., police are searching for the suspect in a Vancouver hate crime against an elderly Asian man. The incident was caught on video and police are looking for help to find the suspect.
According to Vancouver Police (VPD), the incident happened on Friday, March 13, at a convenience store in East Vancouver.
Store staff were trying to help a customer when the suspect started shouting "racially motivated slurs and comments." While the video doesn't have audio, police say that the man made "anti-Asian" comments about COVID-19.
The suspect then dragged the victim outside the store and threw him to the ground where he hit his head on the pavement. He then went back into the store briefly before stepping out again to sit his victim on the curb.
He fled the scene before police could arrive.
What makes the whole incident worse is the man was later found to be 92-years-old and suffering from "severe dementia." Police are investigating the assault as a hate crime.
"Everything about this assault and the behaviour of the suspect is despicable," said Cst. Tania Visintin, VPD.
"We do not tolerate incidents motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate. It’s even more disturbing considering the victim’s age.”
Police confirmed that the man is "okay, he is at home, he is with his family" in a later news conference. He is without injury.
If you have any information, please contact the police at 604-717-2763, or reach out anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or through their website.
According to VPD, there's been an increase in hate crimes over the past weeks, especially against people of Asian descent. There have been 11 hate crimes reported in March alone, and five were anti-Asian.
In comparison, there have only been 12 in all of 2019.
This is on top of COVID-19 related threats sent to people throughout the nation, reported Calgary police.
Today I witnessed a white man spitting on a man of Asian descent as they crossed paths on the sidewalk, accusing hi… https://t.co/zxScCccOfL— Ian Andrew Bell 🇨🇦 (@Ian Andrew Bell 🇨🇦)1584568884.0
"We are making a plea to victims or people who witness hate crimes to please come forward and report the incidents to police so they can be investigated," said Vissintin.
Police say most hate crimes go unreported, so it's unclear how common incidents like these are.