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Police share photos of suspect sought after defacing of National Holocaust Monument

Click to play video: 'Defacing of Holocaust monument in Ottawa being investigated as ‘hate-motivated incident’, police say' Defacing of Holocaust monument in Ottawa being investigated as ‘hate-motivated incident’, police say
WATCH: Ottawa police said Wednesday night the National Holocaust Monument had been defaced and the case would be investigated as a 'hate-motivated incident' by the hate crimes unit – Jan 30, 2020

Hate crime investigators probing the defacing of the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa this week are asking the public to help identify the man who they suspect is responsible for the incident.

The recently re-established hate crimes unit of the Ottawa Police Service released photos of the suspect they’re looking for on Friday morning.

READ MORE: National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa defaced, police launch hate-crime probe

The 20- to 25-year-old man stands between five feet 10 inches and six feet one inch tall, investigators say. In the photos, he is seen wearing a red jacket over a grey hoodie and dark pants, and carrying a black backpack.

Police are asking anyone with information about the man’s identity — or the incident — to call Det. Ali Toghrol at 613-236-1222, ext. 5453, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

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The vandalism of the Holocaust monument, located near the intersection of Booth and Wellington streets, was reported to officers at around 4 p.m. on Jan. 29, according to Ottawa police.

Ottawa police say the National Holocaust Monument in downtown Ottawa was defaced and the case is being investigated as a “hate-motivated incident.”. David de la Harpe / Global News

It appeared eggs had been thrown at the monument’s walls. Police said Wednesday evening the incident would be investigated as a “hate-motivated” incident.

Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly has called the incident “disturbing.”

“Incidents such as this are deeply disturbing to many communities especially when they target specific groups,” Sloly tweeted Wednesday night.

“It is completely unacceptable and it will not be tolerated.”

Egg yolks and shells are seen on the ground by the National Holocaust Monument in downtown Ottawa. The local police service said Wednesday the memorial was defaced and the case was being investigated as a “hate-motivated incident.”. David de la Harpe / Global News

The two-year-old monument is a large installation a short distance west of Parliament Hill, with several distinct areas a person can walk through.

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It commemorates the deaths of an estimated six million European Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany before and during the Second World War.

“The fact that this act of hate took place just days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us that we must all continue to be vigilant [and] fight antisemitism,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted in reaction to the vandalism on Friday afternoon.
Click to play video: 'Trudeau says anti-Semitism present in Canada during National Holocaust Monument unveiling' Trudeau says anti-Semitism present in Canada during National Holocaust Monument unveiling
Trudeau says anti-Semitism present in Canada during National Holocaust Monument unveiling – Oct 5, 2017

Crews began cleaning the monument Wednesday night and were seen cleaning again Thursday morning.

The local hate crimes unit is also investigating a separate incident at Algonquin College this week in which a three-storey Indigenous mural was splattered with yellow paint on Tuesday night, according to police.

READ MORE: Ottawa police investigating after Indigenous mural defaced at Algonquin College

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Investigators have released suspect photos in that case as well and are asking the public for help identifying the man.

Anyone with information about that suspect is also asked to call Toghrol with the Ottawa police or Crime Stoppers.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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