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Woman has hijab pulled, is punched and spat on in attack in Ontario supermarket: police

Woman with hijab is pulled, punched and spat on in attack in Ontario supermarket: police
WATCH: A woman wearing a hijab at a supermarket in London, Ont. was allegedly attacked by an angry assailant.

Police are searching for a suspect after they say a woman wearing a hijab was shopping with her infant at a London, Ont. supermarket when an angry assailant suddenly spat on her, punched her repeatedly and tried to pull off her headscarf.

London police said that after the female suspect failed to remove the hijab, she started pulling the woman’s hair and then fled the area.

The incident began when the suspect, who was wearing a red “CANADA” T-shirt, approached the woman while she was shopping with her 4-month-old son, police said.

READ MORE: ‘You’re like cockroaches’: Muslim women capture Islamophobic attack on camera

According to police the suspect yelled at the woman “for no apparent reason” in a heavy accent in an unknown language before beginning the attack.

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They said the victim suffered minor injuries in the incident, which happened around 5 p.m. Monday at the Superking Supermarket.

Const. Sandasha Bough told Global News investigators will review the incident for any “hate or bias-motivated elements” and pursue hate-crime charges if there are grounds to do so.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale described the incident as “deplorable” on Twitter.

WATCH: Police in London, ON say they’re looking for a suspect who assaulted a woman wearing a hijab in a supermarket on Monday. 
Police say they’re trying to identify suspect who assaulted woman wearing hijab in supermarket in London, ON
Police say they’re trying to identify suspect who assaulted woman wearing hijab in supermarket in London, ON

The suspect is described by police as a 30 to 40 year old woman, standing approximately 5’5”, with a medium build, approximately 150lbs, long black hair pulled back in a ponytail, wearing a red T-shirt and black pants while carrying a green purse.

READ MORE: Man says ‘This is America!’ before pulling off women’s hijab mid-flight

Images released by police which were apparently taken at the time of the incident show a suspect angrily gesturing at the camera.

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Untitled-2 Anyone with information in relation to this incident is asked to call the London Police Service at (519) 661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).