The first incident occurred at approximately 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, at the University of Alberta Transit Centre. A 19-yr-old Muslim woman wearing a Hijab was waiting inside the Transit Center, when she was approached by an unknown male suspect making racial comments. The suspect allegedly became more aggressive towards the female, posturing as though he was about to assault her.
An ETS transit employee intervened prior to any assault being committed, and the suspect left the area. Investigators are currently working with U of A Security and reviewing surveillance video.
The second incident occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, in the area of 100 Street and 82 Avenue. A 27-year-old Muslim female wearing a Burka was walking on the sidewalk alone. An unknown male suspect ran across the road, stopping in front of the female and blocked her path.
The suspect then allegedly began swearing and yelling insults at the female. The suspect then left crossing the street. The female thought the suspect was gone and continued walking eastbound, crossing 99 Street. The suspect returned coming up behind the female, pushing her to the ground, while making threats to kill her and tear off her Burka. The suspect then left the area. At this time, HCVEU investigators are treating the incidents as two separate events.
“These recent attacks, in addition to the December attacks at Southgate Mall, all happened in public areas and in daytime, which shows an extremely alarming trend threatening the safety of the Muslim community,” says EPS Sgt. Gary Willits, of the EPS Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit. “We recognize the impact and trauma of these attacks are significant to the victims, their loved ones, and the broader community. We will be working closely with community leaders to seek solutions.”
Police encourage the public to be vigilant, if these situations are witnessed please call police immediately, and where possible and safe to do so, render aide to victims until police arrival. Anyone with information about these two recent attacks and/or the suspects responsible is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.