UPDATE: VPD identify suspect in ‘racially motivated’ attack on Asian man with dementia

Vancouver Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect who assaulted an elderly Asian man with dementia on March 13, 2020 in East Vancouver. Police are investigating the assault as a hate crime. (Vancouver Police Department handout)

Vancouver Police say they have identified the man who they believe assaulted an elderly Asian man with dementia last month in East Vancouver in an attack that appears to have been racially motivated.

After receiving numerous tips from the community, police announced Thursday that they had identified the suspect. Police do not release a suspect’s identity to the public unless, or until, charges are laid.

“Police would like to thank the community and partners for their overwhelming support on such a serious, intolerable incident,” a statement reads.

According to police, the incident happened on March 13 when the victim, who is 92 years old, wandered into a convenience store near Nanaimo Street and East 1st Avenue. Police did not detail the elderly man’s nationality.

As staff at the convenience store were trying to assist him, the suspect began yelling racist remarks at the victim that included comments about COVID-19, according to police. Outside the store, the suspect shoved the elderly man, which caused him to fall to the ground and hit his head.

The suspect left the store before police arrived. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

The entire incident was caught on surveillance footage.

“Everything about this assault and the behaviour of the suspect is despicable,” said Const. Tania Visintin. “As a police department, we do not tolerate incidents motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate. It’s even more disturbing considering the victim’s age.”

Visintin told Black Press Media in an email that the elderly man has been recovering at home with family.

Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at 604-717-2763 or to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers. Police said the will be using the information to supplement their case, and reach out to specific people if they require more information.

Police said the department has seen an increase in reports of anti-Asian, hate-motivated incidents and criminal behaviour.

In March, 11 hate crimes were reported in Vancouver with five having an anti-Asian element. Four other similar kinds of crimes were reported to police prior to March.

“We know that hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents are generally under reported. We believe the increase in March is indicative of a larger issue,” Visintin said. “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.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

PoliceVancouver

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

There have been 23 cases of reported cases of COVID-19 in the Nechako Lakes Health Area

’Herbert’ Shane Hartman with his daughter Isla. (Shane Hartman Facebook photo)
Love for daughter and drumming leads to author’s first book

Shane Hartman spent very spare moment writing and illustrating Isla’s New Drum

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

Most Read