Surrey RCMP are investigating after waterthree pedestrians were allegedly targeted outside mosque. (File photo)

Police ID suspected driver after pedestrian nearly hit in ‘disturbing’ incident outside Surrey mosque

Surrey RCMP say no arrests have been made at this time, but they’re also working to identify others involved

Surrey RCMP have identified the person who they believe was driving the vehicle that nearly hit a pedestrian outside a mosque Wednesday night (April 27), and they’re working to identify others that were involved.

Cpl. Vanessa Munn said no arrests have been made at this time, as additional steps must be taken to confirm the identity of the suspect.

Surrey RCMP are now looking for witnesses after three pedestrians were doused with water – and one allegedly almost hit by the same vehicle involved – outside the Surrey Jamia Masjid in Newton in the final days of Ramadan.

“While the suspect’s motives are not yet known, this is a very disturbing incident directed at our Muslim community,” a news release states. “We will be working to determine motive and want to reassure the community that the incident will be fully investigated.”

READ ALSO: Surrey RCMP investigating anti-Muslim graffiti incidents

According to a news release, police were alerted to the incident just before 11 p.m. on April 27, with a report “that water had been thrown from a moving vehicle at three pedestrians from the Muslim community, who were walking in the area of 124 Street and 72A Avenue.”

“Within minutes of the initial report, a subsequent call was received that the same vehicle left the roadway and almost struck one of the pedestrians,” the release continues.

The investigation is in the early stages. They are in the process of speaking with witnesses and obtaining video evidence.

In a letter shared on Twitter, BC Muslim Association officials say they are “gravely concerned” by the incident.

“In the aftermath of the London terror attack, the feigning of running over community members is not a small matter,” the letter states.

“While our priority is towards making sure our congregants are safe in the aftermath of such a terrifying incident, we are calling on the police to investigate this as a potential hate crime.”

Mayor Doug McCallum says the incident is “deeply disturbing.”

“Surrey is a city that proudly celebrates our diversity and is made stronger by it. What happened to the members of Surrey Jamia Masjid Mosque is deeply disturbing and has no place in Surrey. On behalf of Council, I want the members who were affected by this incident to know that we stand with them and condemn all acts of hate in our community.”

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

Meantime, Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag is condemning the Surrey incident as well as a second that reportedly happened outside a Langley Mosque.

In the Langley incident, Aldag said “a woman was harassed after nightly prayers.”

“There is an unfortunate history of Islamophobia in Canada, including the terrorist attack in London,” he said in a statement. “We must stand up against all forms of Islamophobia and prosecute those who commit hate crimes.”

Aldag added this is “particularly the case after the (Surrey) incident mimicked the London terrorist attack by (intimidating) worshippers with a vehicle.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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