WHENEVER South Asian seniors have been threatened or attacked in parks in the Lower Mainland, the suspects have inevitably been white males.
But last week the males who were reportedly threatening and throwing objects at South Asian seniors in Abbotsford were South Asian teens.
Abbotsford Police on Monday announced that Amarprit Singh Dhaliwal, 19, Gobind Denzil Singh Pangli, 19, and Suraj Narang, 18, have been charged with uttering threats and causing a disturbance. A 17-year-old male is also facing the same charges but cannot be named.
On Thursday, July 16 at 5:25 p.m., the Abbotsford Police Department received a call reporting that four males were driving around Goldfinch Park in a vehicle, yelling and throwing objects at people in the park. The majority of the people using the park are seniors.
Constable Ian MacDonald told The VOICE: “We got a call … and it was from somebody who was pretty upset – one of the seniors in the park who was saying that there seems to be a group of four young men driving around in a car and they like to throw rocks at the seniors, they like to yell at them, they like to threaten them. They were yelling in Punjabi and saying everything from sort of more generic obscenities to basically saying they better get out of the park or they are going to kill them.”
APD Patrol Division officers paid special attention to the park in the following days and received additional reports of a group of males repeatedly driving by the park, yelling threats and screaming obscenities. The seniors in the park expressed concern that the suspects would act on the threats. Many also stated that the suspects were using some type of a device to broadcast or amplify their voices as they drove by.
On Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m., two covert surveillance APD members stopped a blue Infiniti sedan with four male occupants near the park. One of the passengers appeared to be raising a megaphone to his mouth just before the interaction with police. Based on descriptions and details provided by the witnesses and additional evidence, all four of the men were arrested.
MacDonald told The VOICE: “The worst part is that it was repeated. It looks like they were using two different vehicles, I guess so that they wouldn’t be attached to one vehicle. They were doing this repeatedly – three or four times a day. … This happened over the course of three days straight.”
He added: “So some of the seniors in the park were starting to get scared. They were bringing sticks and bats with them to go to the park, because they were afraid that these young men were actually going to act on what they were saying. Can you imagine!”
MacDonald also pointed out a very disturbing aspect of this shameful conduct: “And at the end of the day, these kids are driving around in BMWs and Infinity’s. So they are taking mom and dad’s cars out to go and scream obscenities at South Asian elders!”
– RATTAN MALL