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Assault involving anti-Asian slurs caught on camera at Richmond coffee shop

Another racist incident that happened at a coffee shop in Richmond recently is now under investigation.

Police said they were called to Rocanini Coffee Roasters on Moncton Street at 3:15 p.m. on March 29 after receiving reports of an assault involving racial slurs.

The manager of the cafe, Nikki, who did not want her last name used, reported that she was assaulted.

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A surveillance video shared with Global News appears to show an exchange between Nikki and two customers who allegedly ignored COVID-19 physical distancing rules.

Nikki told Global News the incident started when the man and the woman sat down at a chair and table and sat down in an area where they are not allowed.

She said after the rush died down she talked to the couple again and asked them to move a couple of times. That, she said, is when things escalated.

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“So the guy stand up and (he) poured coffee on the ground,” she said.

“And then followed by the lady, and I was shocked, standing over here, when the lady passed by me she poured the leftover (coffee on) my face and said something like, ‘F— you, Chinese,’ those kinds of things.”

Nikki can then be seen on the tape grabbing the woman and they then argue before going outside and Nikki turns on her phone to record what happens.

As they are getting in their car, the man says to Nikki “leave it be” and then explains that his wife is “not well.”

He can then be heard saying, as he gets into his car, ‘F—–g Chinese.’”

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Richmond RCMP said they arrested a 74-year-old woman, who was later released on a promise to appear.

The investigation is still ongoing so no charges have been laid at this time.

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“We have seen a number of racial incidents reported to us recently,” Cpl. Ian Henderson with Richmond RCMP said. “We want to make it clear that hate has no place in Richmond and Richmond RCMP will give every allegation of these a full investigation with proper oversight.

“Richmond RCMP is taking an aggressive stand against racism in our community. Quite frankly, we have no tolerance for it.”

Nikki told Global News she was stunned by the incident and she didn’t know what to do.

“I want to bring the awareness, to alert people, be careful these days, you never know who’s going to do whatever to you,” she said.

“I really want to say, please guys, be nice to each other. It’s a tough time right now so please be nice.”

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