October 7, 2016 2:04 pm
Updated: October 7, 2016 3:04 pm

Xenophobic comments rampant online after international student charged in UBC assault

Thamer Almestadi, 18, has been charged with attempted murder in an incident on the UBC campus.

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The arrest of an 18-year-old international student from Saudi Arabia in connection with an assault at UBC’s Vancouver campus Tuesday is causing rampant racism on social media, but the man who helped to subdue him is denouncing the attacks.

Thamer Almestadi was charged with attempted murder after he allegedly assaulted a woman in one of the student residences. He was caught and held down until police arrived by a Good Samaritan, later identified as engineering student Adam Casey.

WATCH ABOVE: One of the people who sprung into action to rescue a woman who was being attacked at UBC is speaking out about the horrifying experience.


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Casey says he has heard a few comments around campus, and many more online, about the fact that the attacker was an international student from Saudi Arabia, with a foreign-sounding name.

“These comments are often along the lines of ‘no surprise’ or ‘that’s what happens when you let Muslims into the country’,” Casey told Global News. “Obviously I object wholeheartedly to this view. I believe that some people are already disposed towards bias, bigotry, xenophobia and hate, and that when they see an event like this connected with a Middle Eastern sounding name, it feeds right into their bias.” 

The name of the female victim has not been released and a publication ban has been placed on this case.

A knife was found on the ground after the attack ended. The victim, who was rushed to hospital, suffered a laceration to her neck.

Almestadi made his first court appearance at Richmond Provincial Court on Wednesday. He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Oct. 11.

He has also been banned from the UBC campus.

With files from Nadia Stewart and Jill Slattery 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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