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Ottawa police seeking woman who allegedly struck Arabic speaker in hate-motivated incident

Ottawa police have released this photo of a suspect they're looking to identify in connection with a hate-motivated incident on Sparks Street in May. via Ottawa Police Service

The Ottawa police hate crime unit is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect who allegedly struck a woman in the head with a purse last month.

Police said in a release that the hate-motivated incident happened in the 200 block of Sparks Street around 11:15 a.m. on May 26.

A couple was sitting on a bench in the area and speaking in Arabic when a woman walked up behind them, struck the woman with her purse and proceeded to walk away yelling racial slurs at the pair, according to the police account.

Read more: Hate crime reports up 57% in 2020, Ottawa police say

The woman is described as being in her late 50s, around five-foot-four in height with a medium build and short black and grey curly hair. At the time, she was seen wearing black shoes, a dark-coloured dress, a deep purple jacket and carrying a black purse.

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Police have asked anyone with information related to the incident to call the hate and bias crime unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 5015. Anonymous tips can be submitted via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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