VANCOUVER Police are investigating two alleged unprovoked assaults on East Asian women downtown on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and are asking for anyone with information or anyone who was a witness to come forward.
“Our hate crime investigators are engaged and assisting with both investigations,” said Constable Tania Visintin on Friday. “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.”
On November 4, a woman was walking on Granville Street near Helmcken Street at 4:30 p.m. when an unknown man approached her and punched her in the nose. After falling to the ground, the woman was able to get to a place of safety and call police.
The suspect in this file is described as white, 20-to-30 years old, and six feet tall. He has a thin build and short hair. At the time of the assault, he was wearing a red t-shirt with yellow stripes, dark pants, and sneakers.
On November 5, a woman was walking to an Evo vehicle near West Georgia Street and Cidadel Parade when an unknown man spat on the victim’s cheek as he was walking past her. The man continued to walk away and was not located by police.
This suspect is described as 5’5″ or 5’6″ tall with dark brown shoulder length hair. The man was wearing dark baggy clothing at the time of the assault.
“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,” adds Constable Visintin.
Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.