B.C. RCMP are looking for help to identify a suspect who attacked an 84-year-old woman who was using a walker.
Police released a video (watch above) showing the April 3 Burnaby, B.C. incident near the Metrotown Skytrain station.
The Asian senior was walking alone when she fell after she was tripped by the female suspect. The victim was “shaken and thankfully not seriously injured,” said RCMP Cpl. Michael Kalanj in a news release Thursday.
The suspect is described as “possibly Asian” but police said they have not ruled out race as a factor in the attack.
“At this time, police do not have any information to indicate that the Asian victim was targeted based on her ethnicity. However, based off of what we are currently observing taking place in neighbouring municipalities, it is an active investigative avenue,” said Kalanj.
The RCMP does not collect data based on race or ethnicity for offences, but he said police have noticed incidents in recent weeks targeting members of the East Asian community in Burnaby, including racial slurs and racist graffiti.
In neighbouring Vancouver, police have said they’ve seen an increase in “anti-Asian hate-motivated incidents and criminal behaviour” since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, with at least 29 open cases that include vandalism and assaults.
While the suspect’s face is not clear in the video, Burnaby RCMP is hoping someone who knows the suspect may recognize something from the footage and contact them.
The suspect had dark brown hair, and was wearing a face mask, black tights, long dark puffy jacket and light-coloured shoes, with a beige purse, said police.
If you have any information that would assist investigators, you can contact Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999, Crimestoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS or visit www.solvecrime.ca.