Richmond Mounties are appealing for the public’s help in identifying a man involved in a hate incident at the Burger King drive-thru on Steveston Highway next to Ironwood Plaza earlier this month.
The hate incident occurred on May 1, when the suspect, who was reportedly standing near the drive-thru window, approached an Asian family in a SUV and began yelling at them.
A bystander tried to intervene and tell the suspect to leave, however, the suspect then began hurling anti-Asian slurs at him.
Richmond resident Benjamin Wong, the bystander, previously told the Richmond News that he shouted at the suspect to try to redirect his attention away from the family in their car.
“The man was shouting racist things at them (the family) like ‘China virus’ and ‘go back to your country,’ and ‘because of you people, the world is like this,’” Wong told the News earlier this month.
After he intervened, the suspect turned on Wong, uttering threats like “I will kill you,” which were recorded on Wong’s dashcam. Wong also pulled out his phone and began recording the suspect – who then changed his attitude and “pretended to be nice.”
Wong later reported the incident to BC Hate Crimes.
Richmond RCMP are now investigating the incident, which they say they only learned of two days after it happened, once video of it began circulating on social media.
Because of this, according to Richmond RCMP, police were “unable to locate the suspect, identify him and speak to him immediately.”
The suspect is described as Caucasian, 5 ft. 6 in. tall, with a heavy build, short grey hair and a partial beard.
At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a grey, long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and black rimmed glasses.
Cpl. Ian Henderson, Richmond RCMP spokesperson, said in a statement on Thursday that the delay in reporting the incident, and providing video evidence to police, has caused “some delay in the progress of this investigation.”
“Richmond RCMP is committed to giving hate crimes and other hate incidents where hateful language is used, our fullest attention and oversight. But to do a fulsome investigation, we need people to report these incidents immediately,” Henderson said.
“We need people to call us immediately, before posting video of hate crimes or hate incidents online. In order to conduct a fulsome investigation, we need the best evidence available, which means we need the raw, unaltered video, and we need it quickly so we can identify and locate the suspect quickly.”
Anyone who knows the identity of the suspect, or anyone who witnessed or has photos or video of the incident, is asked to call Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212, quoting file number 21-11759.
To remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.solvecrime.ca
- With files from Nono Shen