‘I no longer feel safe in this city,’ says Vancouver man after alleged hate-motivated assault

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Police release updated crime stats'
Vancouver Police release updated crime stats
(Oct. 28, 2020) Vancouver Police release updated crime stats – Oct 28, 2020

A Vancouver man is speaking out after allegedly being the target of a hate-motivated attack for the second time in a year.

Eddie Elmer, a PhD candidate and a member of the City of Vancouver’s 2SLGBTQ+ Advisory Committee, said the incident happened “in the heart of downtown” early Saturday morning.

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“While I was waiting to cross an intersection, a man approached me, yelled anti-Semitic comments, struck me hard in the leg, and tried to punch me in the head,” Elmer wrote in a statement posted to social media.

Elmer said he called 911 and that the man was arrested shortly afterward on an unrelated warrant.

Vancouver police confirmed they arrested a man around 2 a.m. at Burrard and Georgia streets.

Click to play video: 'Pandemic-related hate crimes still on the rise'
Pandemic-related hate crimes still on the rise

“The victim isn’t sure if the suspect punched or kicked him,” Const. Tania Visintin said in an email.

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He did hear the suspect say something along the lines of “you Jewish people” while being assaulted,

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She said the department’s hate crimes section is reviewing the file.

LISTEN: Eddie Elmer describes hate-motivated incident in August

In August, Elmer reported another hate-related incident, in which he says a man called him a gay slur, chased him, and “threatened to put a bullet in my head.”

“Without exaggeration, I no longer feel safe in this city,” he wrote.

A report to the Vancouver Police Board in October found hate crimes were up 116 per cent in 2020.

Elmer’s post drew responses from several Vancouver city councillors.

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“Thank you for sharing your experience, these hate crimes are on the rise,” wrote Coun. Rebecca Bligh.

“The lasting trauma from these acts of aggression can not be understated.”

Coun. Sarah Kirby Yung said “it makes me feel ill to hear about incidents like this.”

“Sadly it’s not isolated, and we can’t turn a blind eye to a serious issue.”

Elmer praised the police response, which he said was the only “bright spot” in the incident.

“Special thanks to #3138 and his partner for their attentiveness,” he wrote.

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“No matter what awful things people say about police, they’re the ones who respond when we need help.”

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