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Hate crimes unit probing Vancouver assault after Asian woman’s hair pulled

Vancouver police will be recommending assault charges against a man accused of an unprovoked attack on an Asian woman.

It happened just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, near Kingsway and Joyce Street.

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Police say the woman was walking along the street when a man stopped in front of her and began staring at her.

The woman became unsettled and tried to walk away. At that point, the man allegedly followed her, then grabbed her by the hair and pulled before fleeing, according to police.

A witness got out of his car and chased the man down, holding him until police arrived.

“She didn’t need any medical attention, but I mean this probably is a woman’s worst nightmare to be attacked this way, so I am sure she is very unsettled,” Vancouver police Const. Tania Visintin said.

READ MORE: Atlanta shootings puts spotlight back on surge in B.C. anti-Asian racism

“It’s hard to say now if it was hate motivated but it is something we will be reviewing.”

It comes as Richmond RCMP investigate an assault at a Steveston coffee shop on Monday, in which involved the hurling of racist slurs.

A report to the Vancouver Police Board earlier this year found anti-Asian hate crimes had surged 717 per cent in 2020.

Click to play video: New study shows extent of anti-Asian racism in Canada

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