montreal, canada
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Korean Montrealer pepper-sprayed on his way home

A Korean man living in Montreal, Canada was attacked with pepper spray while on his way home, reports the Montreal Gazette. The incident occurred on Thursday at Coloniale Ave and Marie-Anne Street. James (not his real name) said he was approached by a group and one of them pepper-sprayed him.

“Some dude pops up in front of me, and just – I don’t even really notice what happens, and then I get sprayed,” James said. “A lot.”

James said he’s not sure how many people were in the group but he said they took off after. He said no one in the area helped him.

“I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see, so I couldn’t unlock my phone to call the police,” he said. “I heard people walking by and no one helped, it was really weird.”

He instead notified the police using his Apple Watch. Police arrived shortly and he filed a report. He believes he was targeted because of his race.

“I absolutely think it’s racially motivated because I didn’t have any interaction with the people whatsoever,” he said. “I wasn’t robbed, I had … very valuable stuff on me; nothing was taken. No attempt, nothing. When I read about drive-by pepper spraying in New York, it seems very much in line with that.”

Luckily, James is recovering and feeling physically better but he said he’s living in fear something like that can happen again.

“I’m really grateful I wasn’t stabbed,” he said. “At the end of the day, I had physical symptoms for a few days and aside from the mental stuff, I can move on with my life. People who’ve been slashed in the face with a box cutter, that’s life-altering s–t.”

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