OPP investigate racist attack on elderly Pembroke woman at her home

The Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) seeks the public’s help in investigating a serious assault and harassment on an 80-year-old resident of Pembroke that occurred on August 20, 2020. The OPP bulletin states:

On the evening of August 20, 2020 OPP officers responded to a report that an elderly woman had been hit in the head with a rock in the Isabella Street and Rotary Park area in Pembroke. The victim was treated in hospital and later released.

The investigation has revealed that the assault was part of ongoing harassment. A group of young people had been committing vandalism to the victim’s home and yelling racial comments.

The four individuals are described as 15 to 17 years of age. At the time of the assault they were wearing shorts and baseball caps. One was wearing a red shirt. They travel on bicycles.

Investigators would like to hear from anyone in the Isabella Street area, who has home surveillance video, specifically from August 20 and 22. 

Anyone who can assist this investigation should contact the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers Pembroke/Renfrew County at 1-800-222- 8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000. All tips are anonymous and you will not have to attend court. Visit www.valleytips.ca.

Victim’s granddaughter responds to attack

Prior to receiving today’s OPP Bulletin, The Current had been in contact with Cindy Tran, granddaughter of the victim. Tran, a Vietnamese Canadian studying for her Master’s in Journalism at Carleton University, wrote a heartfelt piece on her blog about the incident and the devastating impact of this type of behaviour on victims and their families. In it, she describes how the youths banged on the door until it was opened by her grandmother, who was home alone. Although her grandmother does not speak English, she recognized the swear words shouted at her in a stream of hateful abuse while the teenagers attacked her and threw eggs at the house. Tran also states the harassment has been repeated – twice – since the original attack. In her article, she says, “It’s shocking that a town that marches for Black Lives Matter still breeds hate toward people of colour.” Tran told The Current the police confirmed the attack was racially motivated but were unable to determine if it was related to COVID-19. Click HERE to read Tran’s article Racism and Discrimination. 


Dickson,B. OPP East Region(2020,Aug.27) UOV OPP INVESTIGATING HARASSMENT AND SERIOUS ASSAULT [media release]

photo Radio Canada International


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