Vancouver Police Major Crime Section is continuing their investigation into Friday night’s pepper spraying of more than a dozen Syrian refugees, with 25 investigators currently working on the case.
The attack happened outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre during a “welcome night” event for newly-arrived Syrian refugees. A crowd of men, women and children had gathered outside the centre when a man wearing a white hoodie apparently rode by on a bicycle and sprayed about 15 people, including some young children.
A number of people were treated on scene, but there was no word of any serious injuries.
Police are looking for a man vaguely described as having a slim build and wearing a white or grey hooded sweatshirt. He was riding a bike with a “rat trap” style rack on the back.
“The sooner we can find this man, talk to him and find out what his motive was, the sooner we can alleviate a lot of fears that this was something bigger than a misguided incident,” says Vancouver Police spokesperson Randy Fincham.
At the moment, investigators are treating the incident as a hate motivated crime.
Investigators say the man may have been in the area prior to the pepper spraying, and they will be scouring the area for any evidence.
They are also asking any homeowners and businesses in the area to review their surveillance video.
Anyone with information is asked to contact VPD’s Major Crime Section.
– With files from Jon Azpiri