St. Albert, Alta., RCMP investigating hate-motivated knife attack on 2 women wearing hijabs

EDMONTON — Mounties in St. Albert, Alta., say they are investigating a hate-motivated attack on two women who were wearing hijabs who were knocked to the ground and threatened with a knife while they were out for a walk. 

Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, police say the two women were walking along a pathway near Alderwood Park. 

A man wearing a mask approached the pair and yelled racial slurs towards them before grabbing one of the women by her hijab, knocking her to the ground and leaving her unconscious, police say. 

The man pulled out a knife before knocking the second woman to the ground, holding her down with the blade against her throat while continuing to utter racial slurs before running away, according to RCMP. 

One of the women was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Mounties began a search for the man, which included the use of a police dog, but he could not be found. 

Police issued a description of the suspect: 

  •  Caucasian male about 50 years old
  •  About six feet tall with average build and broad shoulders
  •  Short, light-coloured hair
  •  Light-coloured eyes
  •  Wearing dark jeans, navy shirt, and red and white bandana with graffiti lettering

Anyone with information is asked to contact St. Albert RCMP.  Mounties are expected to provide further details later this afternoon.

HATE-MOTIVATED ATTACKS

Similar attacks targeting women wearing hijabs have happened in the Edmonton area in recent months.

Earlier this month, a woman in her 50s was out for a walk when she was approached from behind and thrown to the pavement.

In April, police said an Edmonton Muslim family was targeted in a road rage incident where a driver allegedly “made a profane gesture” at a woman wearing a hijab.

In March, an Edmonton man was charged in connection with three apparent hate-motivated incidents including verbally abusing a teenager who was wearing a hijab while waiting at a transit centre and hurling insults a woman wearing a burqa. 

In February, police said a woman in a hijab was threatened by a man at the Century Park LRT station.

And in December, an Edmonton man was charged after what police called a “hate-motivated” attack on two Somali women in the Southgate Centre parking lot.

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