Police say hate crime investigators are probing a pair of unprovoked attacks on Asian women in downtown Vancouver this week.
The first happened Wednesday, around 4:30 p.m, on Granville Street near Helmcken, where a woman told police she was punched in the nose by an unknown man.
“After falling to the ground, the woman was able to get to a place of safety and call police,” Vancouver police said in a release.
The second assault happened Thursday near West Georgia and the Citadel Parade. A woman was walking to her car-share vehicle when she says an unknown man spat in her face. The man just kept walking after the incident.
“Our hate crime investigators are engaged and assisting with both investigations,” said VPD spokewoman Const. Tania Visintin. “The investigations are still in the early stages, but we are not ruling out any motives, including if there was a bias, prejudice or hate element to the assaults.”
The suspect in Wednesday’s attack was described as a white man, between 20 and 30 years old, who stood about six feet tall with a thin build and short hair. He was wearing a red T-shirt with yellow stripes, dark pants and sneakers.
The man in Thursday’s assault was described as being around 5-foot-5 with dark brown shoulder-length hair. He was wearing dark, baggy clothing at the time of the attack.
Both men are still at large.
“What concerns us most about these files is how completely random both assaults were. Evidence indicates the victim and suspect have no relation to each other in both cases,” said Visintin.
According to VPD crime stats released last month, anti-Asian hate crime incidents increased by 878 per cent during the first nine months of 2020.
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