VICTORIA — Police in Victoria have arrested a man they say accelerated his car towards a pro-Palestinian protester near the British Columbia legislature over the weekend.
Victoria Police say the man was arrested for assault with a weapon and dangerous operation of a vehicle after driving onto the sidewalk at about 2.p.m. Sunday, nearly striking the protester.
The incident on Bellville Street was captured on a video that's being shared on social media, showing the driver jumping out of his car and arguing with another protester before a police officer intervenes to separate the men.
Photographs then show the driver on the ground and being restrained by four officers.
Police say the man has since been released pending a future court date, and the protest was able to continue without any other incidents.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims says in a statement that it's "deeply concerned" by the incident, calling it "reprehensible."
"This is the kind of apparent violence we have seen increase across this country ... our leaders must step up to stem this tide of hate," the council said in a statement on social media.
British Columbia's human rights commissioner said last month that the Israel-Hamas war has triggered a surge of discrimination and violence toward both Jewish and Muslim people in the province.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.
The Canadian Press