November 30, 2022

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Fashion, The needs of women

Edmonton man accused in ‘hate-motivated’ attack on Muslim women remains at large

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A man accused of attacking a Muslim family outside an Edmonton shopping mall last year is still at large months after missing a court appearance.

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Richard Bradley Stevens, 42, remains the subject of an arrest warrant after he failed to attend trial in August , police confirmed this week.

Stevens faces two counts of assault and a count of mischief for allegedly attacking a mother and daughter outside Southgate Centre mall on Dec. 8, 2020. The incident was the first in a string of allegedly “hate-motivated” assaults on Muslim women that took place in the Edmonton area in the past year.

The allegations against Stevens have not been proven in court.

In a news release, Edmonton city police said Stevens approached the women — who are Black and wear hijabs — as they sat in their vehicle in the mall parking lot, 5015 111 Street. He allegedly began to yell racially motivated obscenities, then broke the passenger side window with his fist.

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When the woman in the passenger seat fled, Stevens allegedly pushed her to the ground. The second woman was reportedly knocked down when she tried to help her family member.

Eventually, bystanders intervened and stopped the attack. Police arrived and arrested Stevens at the scene.

Stevens failed to appear in court on August 18, which was supposed to be the start of his two-day trial. His then-lawyer told court he had lost contact with his client and asked to withdraw from the case. An arrest warrant was issued that day.

Stevens was earlier remanded when he failed to show up for court in January .

Edmonton police have not issued a formal wanted notice for Stevens. In an email, spokesman Scott Pattison said the distribution of suspect photos is done on a “case-by-case” at the discretion of the investigator, “if and when they feel the circumstances necessitate it.”

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Jibril Ibrahim, president of the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton, said he was concerned that police haven’t made members of the public aware of the accused’s appearance, given the charges he is facing.

Postmedia also reached out to the National Council of Canadian Muslims, which is representing the complainants in the case, but did not receive a response by press time.

Stevens was one of five people accused by Edmonton police in the past year of committing a “hate-motivated” assault. Of those, three were Indigenous people who were homeless at the time of their arrests .

Stevens, for his part, has a home address listed on his charge sheet.

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