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Now, Indians in Canada face racial attack

By Bal Krishna in Toronto
June 10, 2009 18:13 IST
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Close on the heels of Indians being attacked in Australia, six members of the community were racially assaulted by a group of young Canadians, while playing tennis on the outskirts of Vancouver.

Police have arrested four Canadians, including a woman, for racially abusing and robbing a group of tennis players in Aldergrove last Friday. The four -- all in their teens -- have been charged with robbery, assault with a weapon and uttering threats.

The attack began when a group of four teenagers approached six players at the Jackman Park tennis courts. The youths allegedly used a metal bar and ripped off a fence to threaten the six victims, all the while shouting racial slurs, local media reported, quoting the police.

The players were herded into a corner of the court, and one was hit on the head with a board. Their personal belongings were taken by the teenagers.

Rodney Mercieca, a 19-year-old man from Surrey, and Lesley Rothwell, an 18-year-old Langley woman, have both been charged with four counts of robbery, one count of uttering threats, six counts of assault with a weapon, and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

Mercieca has also been charged with breaching his probation. He had been bound by a probation order on June 4, the day before the attack, said Marks. Mercieca will now remain in custody until June 12, when he will be back before a Surrey Provincial Court judge for a bail hearing, while Rothwell has been released on several conditions, including no contact orders with the victims or her co-accused.

The other two accused are minors aged 15 and 16. The 15-year-old has been charged with two counts of robbery, uttering threats and assault with a weapon. He will remain in custody and appear in the Surrey Youth Court on June 17.

The 16-year-old is charged with two counts of robbery and one count of assault with a weapon. He will appear in court on June 17.

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Bal Krishna in Toronto
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