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Waterloo woman arrested after hate-motivated incident at Kitchener DriveTest Centre

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Woman charged after alleged hate-motivated incident at Kitchener DriveTest Centre
WATCH ABOVE: A woman has been charged with assault after an alleged hate-motivated incident at a DriveTest Centre. Catherine McDonald spoke to the alleged victim who says she was slapped when she confronted the woman over racial slurs – May 18, 2023

Waterloo regional police say a woman has been arrested in connection with a hate-motivated incident at a DriveTest Centre in Kitchener, Ont., on Wednesday.

Police say that at around 12:30 p.m., a woman confronted another who had allegedly made racial slurs at the DriveTest Centre on Ottawa Street.

The victim and other people inside the government office had their cellphones out and were recording the interaction, which has since been posted on Twitter, by Mifrah Abid, who was the victim.

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According to police, the woman then assaulted the victim, grabbed her phone and threw it at her.

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Police have since arrested a 27-year-old woman from Waterloo who is now facing a number of charges including assault, theft under $5,000 and assault with a weapon.

Abid spoke with Global News on Thursday morning about the assault, saying that she works with the Coalition of Muslim Women to help victims of incidents like this, and was caught off guard to be in this situation.
“I deal with victims extensively, but when it happens to you, you’re never really prepared enough. You’re never really prepared enough for it,” she said.

After hearing several racial slurs bandied about, Abid’s initial intention was to find an employee to report the issue to but she did not get the chance.

“I just couldn’t take this person going on and on about expletives,” she explained. “And I talked to the others, ‘Did I just hear correctly what I just heard? And is no one going to do anything about it?’

“It just didn’t sit well. And then I asked them to stop. It just got violent.”

Once she saw the other person begin to get aggressive, she pulled out her phone and began to record.

“There was a lot that happened before the incident was recorded, but a part of our active bystander training would be to intervene at a safe distance, don’t physically engage, don’t provoke, but also take some evidence if things go south,” she explained.

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“I was expecting some aggression, but not physical. So that came as a shock because when that happened, I think I just went in total shock.”

Abid works with the Waterloo regional police’s equity diversity inclusion unit as part of her job and immediately called a member of that team for assistance.

“He was very supportive. The police were very prompt. I believe they arrested the person right before 10 p.m.,” she said.

She credited the police for keeping her updated about the case but also noted that she was lucky for having the connections she has as well her understanding of how to handle these situations.

“I can’t help but think about what if there was another woman or another person who didn’t have these privileges and that that is what we always fighting for,” Abid said.

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