A disturbing incident captured on dash cam video showing an Asian senior being accosted with racist remarks in Markham, Ont., is now under investigation by the York Regional Police hate crimes unit.
Police said an elderly man was walking north on Old Kennedy Road north of Steeles Avenue on June 11 around 10 a.m., when a white male wearing a baseball cap and backpack started hurling hateful comments at him without provocation.
The video appears to show the elderly man walking slowly with a limp on a sidewalk when the male approaches from behind and stops in front of him.
“How you doing monkey? Are you a monkey for white people? Aren’t you tired of walking around?” the man is recorded saying in a video posted on YouTube.
After making his remarks, the suspect then turns his attention to the driver of the car with the dash cam.
“Get your dirty f—ing rice-eating ass out of here. Go eat some rice,” the man is heard saying. “You f—ing monkey. You’re being nosey today.”
WATCH: York Regional Police are looking into an incident in which a younger man was heard on video yelling racial slurs at a senior. Lama Nicolas reports.
Tony Cho, the person who posted the video, said in the YouTube description that he is a driving instructor and had just dropped off a student before the incident took place.
“My car is waiting in the driveway which is kind of hidden. I guess he didn’t see me at the beginning,” he wrote.
“Then he noticed me watching him so he starts walking towards me and keeps yelling. I was so angry and wanted to get out of the car and see what he got. But I did not do that because he might have a weapon and it could cause a much bigger problem.”
The video ends with the driver swearing at the man as he drove away.
Tony Cho, a driving instructor who posted the video on YouTube, told Global News he had just finished a lesson nearby when he saw the incident unfold.
“I didn’t see any reason why this incident happened. At the scene it was very normal, but, all of a sudden, the white guy turned around,” he said, adding he thought the suspect was going to offer the elderly man assistance.
“I thought the white guy was going to say, ‘Can I help you? Do you need help?’, something like that, but he swore to the old guy with very criminal language. Racist language and bullying the old guy.”
Cho said his “mouth was on the ground” when he heard what the suspect was saying to the man.
“Very racial, very negative, criminative language, as you can see on YouTube,” he said.
“My mind was thinking a lot of things at the time in those few seconds. I was looking at the old guy. He walked away and seemed to be okay. The white male did not do any further attacks, like physical attacks.”
Cho said he’s concerned for his safety and felt the need to report the incident to police.
“This guy is absolutely a loser. And he’s very sneaky. In this scene, he’s picking on an old man. A sick, poor, old man and I believe he was thinking it was just him and the old man,” he said.
“He didn’t notice the third party, me, was there. That’s why he started this bullying, I believe.”
Police said they are seeking the public’s help identifying the suspect seen in the video. He is described as between 20 to 35 years of age, standing 5’7″ to 5’9″ tall, with a medium build and a slim face.
He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, sunglasses, black shorts, a dark-coloured t-shirt and carrying a black backpack.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext.7541 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
With files from Lama Nicolas and Ryan Rocca