Ottawa police are currently investigating hate-motivated incidents targeting residents of Asian descent that police believe may be motivated by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Police say two people, a man and a woman, both Caucasian, have been reportedly approaching people of Asian descent, yelling racial slurs at them and swearing at them.
During at least two incidents, they were seen driving a newer model grey Hyundia Elantra, police say.
Police say the racially-motivated incidents were reported to have taken place in Ottawa’s west end, near Viemount Drive and Four Seasons Drive.
“These incidents are possibly related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” an Ottawa police news release said, “which has resulted in an increase in acts and displays of prejudice, xenophobia and discrimination that has, in some cases, led to violence against Asian Canadians.”
Ottawa police say they are aware of similar acts of hate in other jurisdictions in the province.
Ottawa police said there has been a “handful” of hate-related incidents involving those of Asian descent in Ottawa this year.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed these incidents or who has information about the vehicle and occupants to call the Det. Ali Toghrol of the Ottawa Police Service Hate Crime Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5453.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.