Important update: Winnipeg police have charged the owners of the restaurant with staging the anti-Semitic incident. Click here for more.
(JTA) – A kosher Italian restaurant in Winnipeg was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti for the fourth time in five months.
In addition to the vandalism and a possible robbery, a woman who works at the BerMax Caffé and Bistro was assaulted in the attack that took place on Thursday night after closing.
The woman was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was treated and released, the CBC reported.
Police said the entire restaurant was “severely vandalized” and spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti, according to the CBC. The word “Jew” also was spray painted on the front window of the restaurant.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate-related crime in conjunction with a commercial robbery, according to the Canadian Press. It is not known if Thursday’s attack is related to the three previous attacks.
“We’ve got three incidents of graffiti prior to this, and they would have fallen into the category of what most people would call a hate crime. They were anti-Semitic,” Winnipeg Police Const. Rob Carver told the Canadian Press. “And now we’ve got another instance, on top of everything else, there was as well graffiti that was would fall into the category of hate crime and was anti-Semitic in nature.”
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman tweeted his support of the Jewish community in the wake of the attack. “Winnipeggers stand w/ members of our Jewish community today & always, as we combat racism & antisemitism, & defend human rights together,” he tweeted.
“To members of Winnipeg’s Jewish community let me say this… Antisemitism will continue to fester as long as good people stay silent. We will not stay silent,” he also wrote.