Police release sketch of suspect in St. Albert attack on sisters wearing hijabs

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The St. Albert RCMP have released a composite sketch of the male suspect in a daytime attack on two women wearing hijabs last week. The incident is being investigated as a hate-motivated crime. (Submitted by St. Albert RCMP - image credit)
The St. Albert RCMP have released a composite sketch of the male suspect in a daytime attack on two women wearing hijabs last week. The incident is being investigated as a hate-motivated crime. (Submitted by St. Albert RCMP - image credit)

St. Albert RCMP have released a sketch of a suspect connected to an attack last week on two sisters wearing hijabs.

RCMP say the masked man attacked the two young women, knocking one unconscious and assaulting the second at knifepoint, in a daytime attack in St. Albert, Alta. last Wednesday.

Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to contact the detachment, police said in a release Tuesday.

The suspect is described as a white man about 50 years old, around six feet tall, with an average build and broad shoulders.

He has short, light-coloured hair and light-coloured eyes. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a navy shirt and a red and white bandana with graffiti lettering.

Police said the man — wearing a bandana and yelling racist remarks — approached the sisters around 12:30 p.m. as they were walking along a gravel pathway near Alderwood Park, bordering Edmonton's northwest.

He grabbed one woman by her hijab and pushed her to the ground, knocking her unconscious, police said at the time.

He then pulled out a knife and knocked down the second woman, holding the knife to her throat while continuing to yell racial slurs at both women.

The man suddenly fled the scene in an unknown direction. A police search of the area did not find him.

The incident is being investigated as a hate-motivated crime, RCMP said last week.

A number of recent attacks targeting Muslim women have been reported in Edmonton, including earlier this month when a Somali Canadian woman wearing a hijab was reportedly grabbed by the neck and pushed to the sidewalk.

A rally demanding protection for Muslim women drew hundreds on Friday.

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