Two East Asian women were victims of alleged unprovoked assaults in downtown Vancouver.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says that the incidents occurred within a day of each other, both in the afternoon.
On Wednesday, November 4, a woman was walking on Granville Street near Helmcken Street at 4:30 pm, when an unknown man reportedly approached her and “punched her in the nose.”
After falling to the ground, the victim was able to get to a safe place and contacted the police. The suspect is described as a white male between 20 and 30 years old. He has a thin build and short hair and was wearing a red T-shirt, dark pants, and sneakers at the time of the incident.
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The second incident occurred on Thursday, November 5. A woman was walking to an Evo vehicle near West Georgia Street and Citadel Parade, when an unknown man allegedly spat on her cheek as he walked past her.
“The man continued to walk away and was not located by police,” says the VPD.
The suspect involved in this assault is described as 5’5″ tall with dark brown, shoulder-length hair. At the time of the incident, he was wearing dark, baggy clothes.
Tania Visintin, VPD spokesperson, says that hate crime investigators are currently “engaged and assisting with both investigations.”
“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,” she says in an emailed statement.
“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.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.