The Syrian Refugees Support Group in Calgary is speaking out on behalf of a family of five, saying a neighbour is creating a nightmarish situation. Despite his denial, three people identified him as a man caught on camera yelling for the newcomers to move away.
A video posted to Facebook Thursday showed a man yelling and swearing over his fence.
“Move out of here (expletive). Get out of my face ya (expletive) idiot,” said a man in the video.
A Syrian refugee family with three children between the ages of four and nine shot the video two weeks ago, according to the co-founder of Calgary’s Syrian Refugees Support Group.
“This family is very afraid of their neighbour. This family is feeling very insecure right now,” said Saima Jamal. “The dad says that his kids can’t even play now outside.”
According to Jamal, while the Syrian family loves their new neighbourhood, they are keen to find a new house although there’s little else they can afford.
Too scared to show their faces, the refugee family chose not to speak to Global News on Friday.
However, neighbours in the area said the refugees have been living in fear for at least a month.
“The kids (are) very scared,” said Wfit Khil, who lives two doors down. “The boy lives in the room right there but (doesn’t sleep). He sleeps with his dad and mom.”
Rasheed Osman and his wife live in the basement suite and said they’ve experienced and witnessed the behaviour themselves.
“It’s basically, ‘do you speak understand English’ and ‘go back to where you belong’,” Osman said.
When Global News arrived Friday morning, the man neighbours identified as the one yelling in the video immediately approached the news vehicle.
When asked whether he knew anything about the Facebook video, he went inside his home and called the Calgary Police Service. He and his brother said they didn’t want media present across the street.
Five CPS officers and three police cruisers showed up.
A man inside the house was heard yelling at the officers while another man spoke to officers outside the front door.
Police were on scene for nearly two hours to diffuse the situation.
When the neighbour came back outside, Global News asked whether he was the man in the video. He replied “not me. You got the wrong person.”
On Monday, the Calgary Police Service confirmed the case is under criminal investigation. Detectives are now in the process of interviewing people involved to determine whether there are grounds for criminal harassment charges to be laid.
The CPS confirmed it’s familiar with the man shown yelling in the Facebook video and that officers have been called out by neighbours in the area for noise complaints in the past.
Calgary police said they encourage people to reach out if they feel they are in similar situations.