The Edmonton Police Service is investigating a road rage case from Sunday evening that may have been racially motivated.
Officers were called to the intersection of Fort Road and 122 Avenue at around 6 p.m. on April 25.
A man driving a car along 82 Street, just past 118 Avenue, noticed the driver in the lane next to him making “a profane gesture” to the man’s wife, who was in the front passenger seat, police said. She was wearing a hijab, EPS said.
The other driver “proceeded to threaten the complainants with his vehicle.”
“The accused male then began speeding up and slowing down erratically next to the complainant’s van, before eventually causing a minor collision between the two vehicles,” police said in a news release.
The man’s friend, who was driving behind him in his own vehicle, saw what happened and all three vehicles pulled over.
Police said the man and his witness friend “attempted to exchange licence and insurance information with the accused male” but he allegedly refused “then uttered religious slurs at the driver and his family.”
The accused allegedly assaulted the man’s friend before running away before police arrived, EPS said.
The friend was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
Officers arrested the accused at his home. Andrew Brown, 34, is charged with assault causing bodily harm, careless driving and various other traffic infractions.
“The EPS Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit has since been consulted, and is also recommending that Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada be applied in this case, allowing the courts to consider increased sentencing when there is evidence the offence was motivated by hatred,” police explained.
EPS said it’s also reached out to leaders of the Muslim community.