Edmonton Police Arrest Man For Three Attacks on Muslim Women

Police have arrested and charged a 44-year-old man for his apparent connection to three separate "hate motivated" attacks that took place in Edmonton.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
March 8, 2021, 10:50pm
Edmonton Police have arrested and charged a man following several attacks against Muslim women in the city.
People prepare to board the LRT at the Century Park LRT station in Edmonton, on Friday, February 26, 2021. A Black Muslim woman was recently threatened and subjected to racial slurs at the station. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Police have arrested and charged a man following several attacks against Muslim women in the city.

Police say that they arrested and charged 44-year-old Shane Edward Tremblay for three attacks that occurred on two separate days. An EPS press release alleges that Tremblay “uttered racially motivated threats” towards a Black woman outside a convenience store on January 18. He then allegedly followed the woman into the store and assaulted her. 

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Police say Tremblay was also the perpetrator of two attacks that took place on February 3. The first incident occurred in the morning when Tremblay allegedly approached a woman in a hijab at a subway stop and began to make racist comments towards her. After Tremblay allegedly threatened to get physical, the woman ran away. Thirty minutes later, police say that Tremblay spotted a Black woman in a burqa and crossed the street to block her path. 

“The suspect then allegedly began swearing and yelling insults at the female,” the police statement said. “The suspect then left crossing the street. The female thought the suspect was gone and continued walking eastbound, crossing 99 Street. The suspect returned coming up behind the female then pushed her while making threats to kill her and tear off her (burqa).”

Tremblay is facing three charges each of uttering threats and assault. EPS has recommended that the charges be subjected to a section of the Criminal Code that allows for a harsher sentence if it is found a crime is motivated by hate or prejudice. 

Sgt. Gary Willits, of the EPS Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit, said that the Tremblay has been known to police for several years “for multiple related incidents.” 

“The actions of this individual have traumatized these three women and created a significant level of fear in our community,” said Willits. 

Edmonton has suffered several racially motivated attacks against Black Muslim women over the last few months. 

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At the end of 2020, police arrested and charged Rene Ladouceur, a 32-year-old woman, for allegedly attacking a Black woman in a hijab at a subway stop on December 15. Police say Ladouceur hit the other woman with a bag while yelling “racially-motivated obscenities at her.” Ladouceur has been charged with assault with a weapon. 

On December 8, two women were inside their car outside a mall when they were attacked by a man yelling “racially-motivated obscenities.” The man then punched the women’s car window hard enough to shutter. Police say the woman in the passenger seat fled the car fearing for her safety but was chased down by the man who pushed her to the ground and began assaulting her. The attack only ended after bystanders intervened. Police arrested and charged 41-year-old Richard Stevens for that attack. 

On February 17,  National Council of Canadian Muslims told Global News a Black woman in a hijab was waiting at a subway station when a man approached her and threatened to kill her. 

After the arrests of Ladouceur and Stevens, Momin Saeed, the executive director of Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council, told VICE World News that the community is dealing with a “level of fear, disbelief, and disappointment.”

“I get messages from friends who say, ‘Is this really happening in 2020?’” said Saeed. “There’s no sugarcoating the reality that there has been a substantial rise over the past years of this type of hate, of these types of incidents, and the online hate you see.”

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