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‘Anti-Semitic’ incident that sent woman to hospital being investigated as hate related crime
Winnipeg police are calling an incident that sent a woman to hospital Thursday night at BerMax Caffé and Bistro anti-Semitic and traumatic.
It’s being investigated as a commercial robbery and hate crime.
Police said emergency crews responded to a call at the restaurant located in the 1800 block of Corydon Avenue around 10:45 p.m.
When they arrived they found a woman inside who had been assaulted.
She was sent to hospital in stable condition, treated and released.
Police said Friday the business was likely the target of a robbery and was severely vandalized.
“The vandalism included property damage and spray-painted, hate-related graffiti,” said a news release.
CTV News observed graffiti on a wall inside, tables toppled over and bottles scattered on the ground of the restaurant.
“We are sickened by the disturbing and appalling crime which took place at BerMax Caffé + Bistro yesterday evening, and we will do all we can to support the family and those affected,” said the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg in a statement sent to CTV News.
“The Winnipeg Police Service is investigating as a hate crime, and we are confident that they are taking every measure necessary to identify the perpetrator/s. We urge anyone who may have information to contact the police immediately. We know that the vast majority of the Winnipeg community rejects hatred, and this senseless and horrible crime does not undermine that fact.”
Mayor Brian Bowman and Premier Brian Pallister both took to social media to express their thoughts.
A Jewish LGBTQ events organization is raising money to help the restaurant with financial losses from the incident.
No arrests have been made and no one is in custody, police said.
The major crimes unit is investigating.
Winnipeg police said this is the fourth incident of graffiti at the restaurant in the last 5 months.
In the past week a poster of a pig with a swastika was also posted at Temple Shalom on Grant Avenue.
Winnipeg police said they are aware of it and are looking to see if there is a connection with what happened at BerMax.
Const. Rob Carver said there hasn’t been much fluctuation in the number of hate-related crimes in Winnipeg.
In 2017, he said there were 18 incidents, 15 of them involving graffiti, three uttering threats.