Vancouver Police are closing the investigation of an alleged assault on the daughter of an aide to Premier John Horgan.
Dakota Holmes said she was walking her dog in Grays Park on May 16 when a white man, triggered by her sneeze, told her to go back to Asia before punching her in the face and knocking her down. Holmes is a 27-year-old Indigenous woman who was suffering seasonal allergies on top of a throat infection.
VPD public information officer Const. Tania Visintin said the victim described the suspect as a white man, over six-foot-two, with a muscular build, wearing a jacket and cap. But there is no composite drawing or other image of the attacker.
“The suspect in this incident has not been identified,” Visintin said. “There was no video and no witnesses to the incident. There were two tips from the public that were investigated but did not lead to identifying the suspect.”
Visintin said the investigation would be reopened if new information is received to help identify the suspect.
Holmes’s father is Don Bain, a special advisor to Horgan and former executive director of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. The incident prompted Horgan to issue a statement condemning the trend of pandemic-related racism the next day. The Oct. 6 NDP platform for the snap election includes a promise to study anti-racism laws elsewhere with a view to tabling a B.C. Anti-Racism Act.
Meanwhile, a man is charged with assault causing bodily harm for the April 12 attack on an Asian woman near a bus stop on Granville and West Pender.
Richard Edward Howse, born in 1993, will appear in the Downtown Community Court on Oct. 15.
Howse, also known as Richie, is in custody after being found guilty Aug. 31 of mischief under $5,000. His lengthy rap sheet includes convictions for breaching probation last March and theft of a motor vehicle and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle from 2018.
Elsewhere, VPD has recommended charges of advocating genocide, willful promotion of hatred and mischief from the April 2 graffiti and vandalism incident at the Chinese Cultural Centre. Crown counsel is seeking further details from VPD.
“That information is being processed and will be reviewed in the coming weeks,” said Dan McLaughlin of the B.C. Prosecution Service. “We do not have a timeline for the completion of the charge assessment process in this case. There will be no further comment or information provided while the matter is under charge assessment.”
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