Vancouver Police are investigating after a senior was attacked with bear spray in Chinatown Friday morning.
According to police, the 87-year old victim is a resident of Chinatown and was out for his morning walk on Friday when he was attacked around 11:40 a.m. The victim was waiting for a bus near Pender and Columbia streets when a stranger approached him, made racist remarks, and bear-sprayed him in the face, according to police.
The suspect immediately fled the scene after the attack. The victim received non-life-threatening injuries and was traumatized by the experience.
Police are looking for a suspect described as a man between the ages of 30 to 40 years old and stands about 6 feet tall. He was carrying a black backpack and wearing a black jacket, dark pants, a grey baseball cap, grey shoes with red trim and white soles, and a black backpack.
“Given the time of day and the location of this incident, we believe there were witnesses who have not yet come forward. We also believe there will be people who recognize the suspect and can help us identify him.”
VPD says between 2019 and 2021, there was a 300 per cent increase in reported graffiti incidents and a 425 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crime incidents in Chinatown.
“People who live and work in Chinatown deserve to feel safe, valued, and respected,” added Cst. Visintin. “Violent and unprovoked attacks, rampant graffiti, and street disorder are appalling, and these incidents continue to erode peoples’ sense of safety.”
Anyone who has information or anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to call investigators at 604-717-4034.