Ontario man charged with racial assault on teenage girl

A Hamilton man is charged with assault after he allegedly yelled racial slurs at a teenage Muslim girl and chased her out of her apartment building.

A 17-year-old girl was heading to her apartment building on Oxford Street around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday when a man began yelling what police say were racial slurs at her in the lobby. The man yelled at her to leave the building, said Det. Carmine Pietroniro from Hamilton Police Services’s hate crime/extremism unit.

The longer the culprit yelled, the more aggressive he became, Pietroniro said. “At that point, he tried kicking her.”

Another tenant helped restrain the man, while the victim ran to her apartment and told her mother about the incident, police say.

The two women went to the police station to report the incident. While they were there, the suspect walked in to file a report on the same incident, recognized the girl and yelled at her. Officers intervened and the 67-year-old man was arrested.

Pietroniro says he’s still not sure what the man was going to say in his report. “We’re not sure what his intentions were.”

Hamilton police investigated 122 hate-related events in 2013, two thirds of which involved prejudice involving race or ethnicity. And nearly 12 per cent involved prejudice based upon the victim’s religion.

Still, an incident as aggressive as this one is “not a common occurrence,” Pietroniro said.

CBC News, 9 April 2014