British Columbia

Vancouver police investigate alleged racially motivated attack against elderly Asian man with dementia

Police say the suspect allegedly yelled racist remarks, including comments about COVID-19, at a 92-year-old man with dementia.

Suspect allegedly began yelling racist remarks and shoved 92-year-old man with dementia

Vancouver police say they have identified the man who allegedly assaulted an elderly Asian man with dementia at a convenience store last month in East Vancouver. (Vancouver Police Department)

UPDATE: Police ID suspect in alleged racially motivated attack

Vancouver police are investigating the attack as a hate crime after an elderly Asian man was assaulted in East Vancouver last month.

Police say the suspect began yelling racist remarks at the 92-year-old, including comments about COVID-19, inside a convenience store near Nanaimo Street and East First Avenue on the afternoon of March 13.

The suspect allegedly shoved the elderly man out of the store which caused him to fall to the ground outside and hit his head.

In a surveillance video released by police, the suspect appears to help the elderly man sit up. But police say he left before they arrived.

Watch | Man pushes elderly gentleman out the door causing him to fall

Police release surveillance video of alleged racially motivated attack

3 years ago
Duration 1:33
Police are asking the public for help identifying the suspect. They say he began yelling at a 92-year-old man with dementia, making comments about COVID-19, then shoved him, causing him to fall and hit his head outside a convenience store in East Vancouver on March 13.

"Everything about this assault and the behaviour of the suspect is despicable," said Const. Tania Visintin with the Vancouver Police Department in a news release.

"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," she said.

Vancouver police say they have seen an increase in reports of hate crimes including anti-Asian and hate-motivated incidents in recent weeks. While these crimes are largely underreported, 11 hate crimes were reported to police in March and 45 per cent had some anti-Asian element. In comparison, there were 12 anti-Asian hate crimes reported in all of 2019. 

"We believe the increase in March is indicative of a larger issue," said Visintin, pleading for victims to come forward and report incidents.

Police are now seeking the public's help in identifying him. He is described as a white man in his 50s, believed to be six feet tall with a heavy build, dark, short hair and balding. 

The suspect was wearing a grey button-up shirt over a black T-shirt with a white skull design on the front, black pants and black running shoes. Police say he also had a thick, gold bracelet, gold necklace and several gold rings. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department at 604-717-2763 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.