Montreal police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect “about 18 years old” who allegedly committed a hate crime by assaulting two people from the Hasidic Jewish community, in the borough of Outremont, in last January.

It was around 10 p.m. on January 20 that a first victim, a member of the Hasidic community, was allegedly initially assaulted by the suspect, at the intersection of Van Horne and Bloomfield avenues.

In a surveillance video released Wednesday by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), the young man can be seen running from a sidewalk towards his victim, who was about to cross the street, before pushing her violently and throw her to the ground.

According to what can be seen on these same images, the suspect then flees in an easterly direction on Van Horne Avenue, joining a group of individuals of the same age a little further.

About 30 minutes later, around 10:25 p.m., the suspect allegedly committed a second assault against a member of the Hasidic community, this time at the corner of Bernard and Outremont avenues.

The victim would then have “received a violent kick in the lower back, which would have thrown him to the ground”, notes the SPVM in a press release, adding that the individual would then have “fled on the avenue Wiseman heading north again going to join the group” a little further.

According to a description provided by the authorities, the suspect sought is “a white-skinned male, approximately 18 years old”. At the time, he was wearing a black coat, gray sweatpants and white sneakers.

The SPVM says it will “exceptionally” broadcast video from the surveillance camera until April 24, inclusive, “given the likelihood that the suspect is a minor”. Photos of the suspect have also been published in order to be able to identify him.

Anyone who has relevant information in connection with this file is invited to contact 911, their neighborhood station, or the anonymous and confidential center of Info-Crime Montreal, by dialing 514-393-1133. You can also fill out a reporting form on the organization’s website. Rewards of up to $3,000 can also be awarded by the organization “for information leading to the arrest of suspects”, under certain conditions.

At the end of March, the Trudeau government was called upon to act quickly to contain the explosion of hate crimes against members of racialized and marginalized communities, when new data from Statistics Canada revealed that the number of hate crimes reported by police in country grew by 27% from 2020 to 2021, after a jump of 36% the previous year.