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Charges laid in alleged racist attack on woman outside west Edmonton coffee shop

FILE: An Edmonton police service vehicle. Global News

Edmonton police said a woman was the victim of a hate-motivated attack last week in west Edmonton, where she was yelled at and her vehicle damaged.

It happened around 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, outside a coffee shop near 149 Street and Stony Plain Road.

Police said the 59-year-old Filipino woman was leaving the coffee shop when an unknown man began yelling at her and using racial slurs.

The woman was able to get into her vehicle and lock the doors, investigators said, but the man attacked it, causing damage to a mirror and windshield wiper.

Brian Reginald Gee, 64, was arrested and charged with mischief under $5,000.

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The EPS hate crimes and violent extremism unit is also recommending that Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada be applied in this case, allowing the courts to consider increased sentencing when there is evidence the offence was motivated by hatred.

The file remains under investigation and further charges may apply, police said.

The woman is being provided support through the EPS crime and trauma-informed support services.

3rd suspected hate attack this year

This is the third known hate-motivated attack in Edmonton since the start of the year.

Late last month, a man went to hospital after being violently assaulted in broad daylight in the central Edmonton Alberta Avenue area.

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Edmonton police said on Wednesday, Jan. 26, a Black man was walking along 95 Street near 114 Avenue, when another man reportedly yelled a racial slur, crossed the street and began to beat the victim.

Police said the victim briefly lost consciousness before waking up and walking a few blocks to the nearby Royal Alexandra Hospital, where officers met him.

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As of Tuesday, no suspect had been arrested in that case.

Click to play video: 'Racism suspected in random, violent attack on man in central Edmonton'
Racism suspected in random, violent attack on man in central Edmonton

A man is also facing charges after an alleged attack on a Muslim woman near the Al Ameen Mosque. on Jan. 1. The National Council of Canadian Muslims said a man spat on the woman’s car window, punched it several times, uttered threats and damaged mosque property before returning to the scene with a shovel.

It allegedly happened while the woman’s children were inside the car, the organization said.

Click to play video: 'Muslim woman attacked outside northeast Edmonton mosque'
Muslim woman attacked outside northeast Edmonton mosque

Those are just the latest in what appears to be a string of similar hateful assaults in the last few years in the Edmonton region.

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The attacks over the past two years have left many minorities feeling anxious and unsafe — it got so bad, the Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton even began offering Muslim women self-defence lessons.

Premier Jason Kenney addressed the issue last summer, when the province announced a program intended to protect vulnerable residents from hate crimes.

Click to play video: 'New Alberta program to give funds for security, tech improvements to deter hate crimes'
New Alberta program to give funds for security, tech improvements to deter hate crimes

The Alberta Security Infrastructure Program provides grants to religious and ethnic organizations that are at risk of being targeted by hate-inspired violence or vandalism, including places of worship, temples, synagogues, gurdwarasand  community centres such as Indigenous friendship centres, ceremonial facilities and monuments.

The funding is intended to help with security assessments and training, as well as for buying and installing security features like alarms, gates, motion detectors and monitoring systems.

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Anyone with information about any recent attacks is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone.

Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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