Suspect charged after London, Ont. woman wearing hijab assaulted in supermarket: police

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WATCH: Wed, Jun 22: A 38-year-old London woman was charged with one count of assault Tuesday night after allegedly punching and spitting on a woman who was wearing a Hijab while shopping in a local supermarket. Ashley Carter has more, including whether or not London police are considering this a hate crime – Jun 22, 2016

Police say a 38-year-old female suspect has been charged after a woman wearing a hijab was allegedly spat on and punched in front of her baby at a London, Ont., supermarket this week.

London police said the female suspect tried to pull off her headscarf and subsequently grabbed the victim’s hair before fleeing the area.

The incident took place on June 20 around 5 p.m. while the mother and her 4-month-old son were shopping at the Superking Supermarket located at 785 Wonderland Road South.

According to police the suspect yelled at the woman in a heavy accent in an unknown language before beginning the attack.

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

Police say the suspect, whose identity has not been released, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with one count of assault.

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Const. Sandasha Bough said Wednesday the accused’s name will not be released by police because it might put her safety at risk given the high-profile nature of the case.

Bough said the investigation is ongoing and that officers are trying to figure out what exactly was said before the alleged attack.

“We’re hoping that if anybody was there that understood what was being said then they come forward and let us know.”

She said that if there is evidence the incident has elements of a “hate or bias-motivated offence” then that would be presented to Crown prosecutors as an aggravating factor for the assault charge.

“We haven’t moved into that direction yet because we are looking for additional information,” Bough said. “So we’re really hoping the public or whoever was there is able to come forward and fill in the blanks for us.”

With files from Will Campbell