On the evening of March 19, a video uploaded to YouTube of a First Nations man being assaulted by a white man in a Dryden restaurant began circulating on the Internet via social-media.
Within a couple of hours, the video, and still images taken of the video, had spread across the social-media site Facebook as well as Twitter. Concerned citizens sent links to, and images of, the video to the Dryden Police Service and to various media outlets as well.
In a Dryden Police Service media release dated March 20, Chief of Police Rob. A. Davis confirmed that police had received the video and said that officers immediately began their investigation.
The police believe they have identified the subject and the victim, according to the release. Davis said updates will be provided as the investigation moves forward.
The incident appears to have occurred during the March break Northern Bands hockey tournament in Dryden. The police say they need the public’s assistance in identifying who shot the video of the assault because “they are a critical witness to this heinous crime.”
Tania Cameron, a resident of Kenora ON, saw the video online and “was appalled.”
“It choked me up to see the man, who looks like he’s trying to enjoy his meal only to be assaulted and harassed,” Cameron said.
Cameron said she promptly sent the Dryden OPP links to the video via their Facebook page.
“I hope that there is a support system in place for the victim. I hope he didn’t leave that restaurant thinking no one stood up for him,” Cameron said. “I hope this man knows that he has many prayers for strength going his way.”
Anybody with additional information on this assault or anyone who may have witnessed the assault is asked to call Detective Sergeant Ann Tkachyk at 807-223-3281.
The police ask the public to report crimes when they happen, or call 911 if an emergency.
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