Edmonton police investigate hate-motivated assault after woman bear-sprayed, harassed

The Edmonton Police Service is asking for help identifying two men who are suspects in a west end assault that’s believed to be motivated by hate.

EPS Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit (HCVEU) is now investigating this incident and is releasing the photos of the suspects.

Read more: Edmonton police lay charges in 6 assaults believed to be motivated by hate

A Black woman was leaving a business near 114 Avenue and 135 Street between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, when a man she didn’t know approached her and demanded to look inside her bag.

She refused, EPS said in a news release Monday, and the man reportedly yelled racial slurs at her as she walked away.

Edmonton police need help identifying these two men, suspects in what's believed to be a hate-motivated assault on a woman on Dec. 10, 2022, between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the area of 114 Avenue and 135 Street.
Edmonton police need help identifying these two men, suspects in what’s believed to be a hate-motivated assault on a woman on Dec. 10, 2022, between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the area of 114 Avenue and 135 Street. Edmonton Police Service

He followed her, police said, and kept yelling slurs, despite her repeated requests to be left alone.

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The man got a can of bear spray from another man on a bike and went back towards the woman “and sprayed her in the face,” EPS said.

Edmonton police need help identifying these two men, suspects in what’s believed to be a hate-motivated assault on a woman on Dec. 10, 2022, between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the area of 114 Avenue and 135 Street. Edmonton Police Service

Police said both men left the area — one ran north on foot towards 114 Avenue and the other rode his bike east on 114 Avenue.

Staff at a nearby store helped treat the woman’s injuries, which police said were non-life-threatening, and EMS was called.

Read more: Racism suspected in random, violent attack on man in central Edmonton: police

EPS officers took the woman home and started investigating. The EPS Crime and Trauma-Informed Support Services (CTSS) have also been offering her support.

Edmonton police need help identifying these two men, suspects in what’s believed to be a hate-motivated assault on a woman on Dec. 10, 2022, between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the area of 114 Avenue and 135 Street. Edmonton Police Service

If anyone recognizes the men or witnessed the assault, they’re asked to contact police 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 at http://www.p3tips.com/250.

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The suspect who approached the woman is believed to be in his 30s and was wearing all black clothing and black ankle-high winter boots. The man riding the bicycle was reportedly wearing a black jacket and a red hat. His bicycle was described as BMX style and black in colour.

Click to play video: 'Theft and property crimes down, sex assaults and hate crimes up in Alberta'

Theft and property crimes down, sex assaults and hate crimes up in Alberta

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