Edmonton Muslim family targeted in instance of road rage: police

EDMONTON — A man is accused of causing a minor crash, hurling racist and religious slurs, and assaulting a man in a fit of road rage in Edmonton on Sunday.

Shortly before 6 p.m., a man and his family were headed north on 82 Street just past 118 Avenue when a motorist in the next lane allegedly “made a profane gesture” at the man’s hijab-wearing wife in the passenger seat.

“(The accused) then proceeded to threaten the complainants with his vehicle,” police said.

A family friend who was travelling with them in another vehicle told police he saw the reckless driving; as the man and his family continued on, the other motorist reportedly sped up and braked erratically.

The two vehicles eventually crashed.  

The complainant and his friend say they tried to exchange information with the third driver in a parking lot near Fort Road and 122 Avenue, but he refused and is said to have physically attacked the friend and thrown religious slurs at the other driver and his family.

Andrew Brown, 34, was arrested at his home and charged with careless driving, a number of traffic infractions, and assault causing bodily harm.

Edmonton Police Service’s hate crimes and violent extremism unit is recommending the case be processed under Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code so the courts can consider increased sentencing for hate-motivated offences.

A spokesperson said the police department is keeping the Muslim community informed.

The man who was assaulted was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Since December, at least five Muslim women have reported to Edmonton police being attacked or threatened. All but one were Black. And all incidents happened in very public spaces: one at a mall parking lot, the others at different transit stations.

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