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Muslim woman's car vandalized in possible hate crime

Last Updated Aug 18, 2017 at 7:01 pm EDT

A Pickering woman believes she’s become the target of a hate crime, and is questioning why it took police in Durham Region so long to respond to her calls for help.

The single mother of four children woke up Friday morning to find her car vandalized. The windows were smashed and profanity had been spray painted across the vehicle. Profane words were also painted on her driveway.

The woman, who is Muslim, believes she was targeted because of her faith. The incident has left her so afraid she asked CityNews not to reveal her name.

“I’ve been in this neighbourhood for nine years and it’s scary now. Me being a single mom, having two jobs, leaving at three in the morning … My other daughter, she walks to school, and I don’t know if I can let her walk to school anymore,” she explained.

The side window of a Pickering woman's vehicle was smashed overnight in a possible hate crime, Aug. 18, 2017. CITYNEWS/Stella Acquisto

The woman said she called police several times before an officer finally came to her home. David Selby, spokesman for Durham Regional Police, said the case wasn’t escalated until officers learned a hate crime may have occurred.

“The initial information we get is that it looks like a lower-level mischief call, it’s a damage to a car. It wasn’t until later that we determined that there were other overtones in this, such as hate crime overtones. So obviously we’re not responding with an officer attending,” Selby explained.

Officers are now looking at the vandalism as a possible hate crime.

“There’s overtones of hate there obviously,” Selby said. “She certainly believes feels like she’s being picked on here, so that’s something we’re going to take seriously.”

The woman said she doesn’t understand why this happened.

“I’m quite good with everyone, I’m good with this whole community. I’ve not had one single problem, I’ve been in this neighbourhood for nine years. Why today? Why of all days today?”