People in Canada were appalled to see a video showing an unidentified suspect shoving an elderly Asian man at a convenience store in East Vancouver on March 13.
Vancouver Police recently released a surveillance video of the horrific incident with the hope that the public will be able to help identify the suspect.
According to police, the suspect began shouting racist remarks at the man before dragging him outside, which caused the man to fall on to the pavement and hit his head.
The 92-year-old man suffers from dementia.
The suspect then returned to the victim to sit him upright on the sidewalk before entering the convenience store again to complete his transaction.
Police say that the suspect left the scene before they arrived.
“Everything about this assault and the behaviour of the suspect is despicable,” said Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “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.”
On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the incident outside of Rideau Cottage, saying “intolerance and racism have no place in our country.”
“Canada has succeeded because of our diversity. It is one of our greatest strengths,” he continued.
“The millions of Canadians of all different backgrounds who are working together — many, many of them on the frontlines — to help their fellow Canadians deserve better than this from all of us.”
Vancouver Police say reports of hate crimes have increased since the beginning of the pandemic.
There were a total of 12 anti-Asian hate crimes reported in 2019, and police have already received nine reports in the first few months of 2020.
Vancouver Police say they have identified a suspect in the latest incident after receiving “numerous tips” from the public, but they have not made his name public at this time.