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Asian family falls victim to hate-crime by teenagers in Oakville


Considering that our community is still grappling with the trauma of hate-driven crimes from across the provinces, an Oakville resident of Chinese descent sent out an SOS to the police and local government yesterday after being repeatedly harassed with anti-Asian abuses by a group of teenagers. After he shared his experience on social media, angry members of Asian communities rallied, urging the government and the police to take immediate action.

Shocked and petrified, Charles Wu and his family are now scared to even step out of their house in southeast Oakville. The abuse started on June 4 this year when Charles and his wife returned home after a post-dinner stroll.

He recalled that about seven teenagers riding their bikes followed them to their front gate. The group of kids even kicked their son's graduation lawn sign. When confronted, the group immediately fled. The family was naturally perturbed and contacted Halton Regional Police, who assured them of action if any further incident occurred.

Exactly a week later, on the night of June 11, the graduation lawn sign was stolen. Charles’ son reported the theft to the police immediately after he discovered it the next morning. He also requested that the police patrol the area. "We did not see any police patrol in the area after the complaint. Nor did any police officer reach out to us," Charles maintained.

Exactly seven days later on June 18, the same group of teenagers returned to the victim’s house around midnight and started hurling eggs and empty bottles of juice at the front door.

Charles Wu
Charles Wu

“The kids were using hate-words targeting the Chinese community,” Charles confirmed.” My son woke me up and when we went outside, we saw all the broken eggs and the juice bottles. My children could not sleep the whole night.” His son called up the non-emergency number, seeking immediate help and was assured of police patrol this time. The police did not turn up until 24 hours later, Charles complained.

The traumatic experiences continued as the same group returned to harass the family around midnight on June 19, planning to attack with objects hidden in their bags. Thanks to the prompt response of Charles’s son, who alerted others in the house, the kids fled the spot. This was when they realized that this was a deliberate and targeted hate crime. After the fourth call to the police, a Halton police officer visited them on June 20 and heard them out, the victim added.  

With a desperate plea, Charles reached out to Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS), Mayor Rob Burton and the community at large yesterday on social media, “I have 3 kids; they are all scared and cannot go to sleep. I really want the government, the community and police officers to stop this kind of hate crime.”

When contacted by Oakville News, Constable Ryan Anderson of the HRPS emphasized that both uniform patrol units and the Criminal Investigations Bureau are treating this investigation as a top priority and are working in collaboration with the Regional Community Mobilization Bureau and Victim Support Unit. “HRPS takes these incidents extremely seriously. I can also confirm that HRPS officers attended the complainant’s street and neighbourhood to investigate each time we were contacted,” he confirmed.

According to the police, there is evidence that these offences may be motivated in whole, or in part, by hate and/or bias. However, further details on the evidence and investigative techniques are not disclosed right now for risk of jeopardizing the investigation.

The HRPS affirms that hate and division have no place in Halton and they are committed to fully investigating and identifying the individual(s) responsible. They request that anyone with information regarding this investigation can contact the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2216.

When Charles shared his experience with his neighbours, he was shocked to find that some Asian residents were similarly harassed in the last couple of months. He emphasized that all Asian victims of hate crimes should speak up.

It is worth mentioning that several residents had reported the circulation of hateful videos with anti-Muslim sentiments to Halton Regional Police in the aftermath of the hate crime in London, Ontario, that killed three generations of a family and left the youngest child orphaned.

After a preliminary investigation, the HRPS had confirmed that these recordings did not take place in Halton and referred these reports to Ontario Provincial Police.

The Mayor of Oakville has also assured the family the town would help.

Meanwhile, our community continues to show overwhelming involvement in the anti-hate movement initiated by an Oakville mom last week and stands in solidarity against any form of hatred.