'I want to leave': London, Ont. police investigate race-related incident as possible hate crime

WATCH ABOVE: Video shows confrontation inside London, Ont. grocery store, which police are investigating

London police are investigating a race-related incident in the city’s north-end Tuesday.

A video of the altercation posted to social media appears to show one man blocking another man from leaving a grocery store, calling him an “illegal alien.”

In the video, a man in a black hoodie can be seen trying to leave the Sobey’s on Adelaide Street, but another man wearing a red-shirt is forcibly blocking his path.

In a release London Police said the incident happened around 7 p.m.


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Police say an argument occurred inside the store between the two men before they arrived on scene. The second interaction was caught on video.

A woman off-camera appeared to be trying to help the man in the hoodie get out of the store.

“Let’s go, he can’t make a citizens arrest,” said the woman.

“But he can assault me, right?” said the man in the hoodie.

“Then you can call the police on him,” said the woman.

“Will you call for me?” said the man in the hoodie.

“Yeah, let’s go,” she said.


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Then, at her encouragement, the man in the hoodie tried once again to get past the man in the red shirt but was forced back.

“Don’t touch him. Why are you touching him?” said the woman.

The man in the red shirt continued to step towards the man in the hoodie.

“I want to leave, stop assaulting me. I want to leave,” said the man in the hoodie.

For the duration of the 30-second Facebook video, the man in the red shirt is holding a cell phone to his ear.

No injuries were sustained and both men left the store peacefully.

In a statement to Global News Radio 980 CFPL, external communications manager with Sobeys, Jennifer McCrindle, writes that what the video doesn’t show is that an employee had already called 911 and employees were waiting for police to arrive.

“The manager in charge at that point in the evening was called to the scene quickly and did her best to be present and to remain calm with the two men as the police were on their way,” the statement read.

“She asked the aggressor to leave the store repeatedly, while also very aware that a situation like this can escalate quickly with an agitated individual.”

Police say the victim chose not to proceed with charges in regards to the incident. As a result, police warned the other male for assault and no charges were laid.

Race-related comments were reported to have been made during the interaction. Those comments weren’t captured on video.

The London Police Service Hate Crime Unit is reviewing the incident.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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