RCMP and Edmonton police are looking into a hate-motivated crime involving two women walking on a path bordering Edmonton on June 23.
The two women were walking along a pathway near Alderwood Park at around 12:35 p.m. when a man they didn’t know starting yelling racial remarks at them, St. Albert RCMP said.
The man, who was wearing a mask, “grabbed one female by the hijab and pushed her to the ground, knocking her unconscious,” RCMP said.
“The male then pulled out a knife, knocked the second female to the ground, and held her down with the knife against her throat while he continued to threaten the females with racial slurs.”
RCMP said the man ran away and officers, along with the RCMP Police Dog Services, couldn’t find him after searching the area.
The first woman who was attacked regained consciousness, RCMP said, and was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The other woman sustained minor injuries but was not taken to hospital.
St. Albert Victim Services Unit is offering the women and their families support.
“Alberta RCMP work collaboratively with other policing agencies, regardless of jurisdiction as we stand together against hate and extremism,” said Staff Sgt. Tony Dickens.
Edmonton’s mayor said he and other Edmontonians are disturbed to hear about another hate-motivated attack.
“This attack is unacceptable. It appears our Muslim community, in particular, is being targeted yet again in this way. Our Muslim neighbours, friends and family deserve to feel safe and welcome in their communities,” Don Iveson said.
“I’m heartbroken that many of them are not feeling safe right now.
“The City of Edmonton supports calls to strengthen hate laws in Canada and will continue to find ways we can work with our partners to stop hate attacks.”
RCMP are asking the public for help identifying and locating the suspect.
He would have been walking in the Alderwood Park area on June 23 and is described as about six feet tall, average build and broad shoulders, about 50 years old, with short light-coloured hair and light-coloured eyes. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a navy shirt and a red and white bandana with graffiti lettering.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the detachment at 780-458-7700.
Edmonton has seen a number of attacks on Muslim women in recent months.
City police say two women wearing hijabs were sitting in a mall parking lot in December when a stranger shattered a window and assaulted the passenger as she tried to flee and then assaulted the second woman when she tried to help. A man faces charges of assault and mischief in that case.
In March, a man was charged after three allegedly hate-motivated attacks on women in Edmonton.
In the first, police said the Black victim was followed inside a convenience store on Jan. 18 and allegedly assaulted.
The second and third attacks took place on the same day in early February. One woman was wearing a hijab and the other wore a burqa.
A 44-year-old man faces three counts of uttering threats and three of assault in those incidents.