Father and son come forward after incident where a woman was harassed for wearing a mask

Mockery a misconception

Two men who reportedly harassed a woman wearing a government-mandated face mask in 100 Mile House have come forward to police. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, RCMP shared the report of a woman who said she was discriminated against for wearing a mask by two men seen driving an older model white Volkswagen Jetta. 

The woman said she had stopped to make a transaction on Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bank of Montreal (BMO).  While waiting outside of the bank, two men in a white older model Volkswagen Jetta stopped and started coughing toward her and laughing at her.  

At one point, the passenger of the vehicle jumped out and came toward her while coughing and laughing. 

Police investigated and reached out to media and the public asking for more information on the situation. They also asked that the two men come forward to discuss the incident. 

100 Mile House RCMP thought the incident could have even been a result of racism because the woman was Indigenous. 

On Nov. 24, a father and son came forward to police and met with an officer yesterday (Nov. 25) morning. 

In a release, police say the two men, of Indigenous heritage, recalled seeing the woman in line at the BMO and made a 'jovial comment' to her regarding taking all the money from the bank as she left the bank. 

According to the men, that is the only engagement they had with her, other than having the music turned up and windows down in their vehicle as they pulled up beside the bank.

The father and son duo admitted to coughing without harmful intent but not toward the woman.  

"They appeared horrified and remorseful that this was the perception of the contact from her perspective," says Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen of the 100 Mile House RCMP Detachment. 

The men offered to meet with her and have a reconciliation to avoid any further harm to her, the community, or their personal reputations. However, the woman has declined the request and wants to move forward with support from those close to her.
"In these difficult times, what this situation stresses is that perception can be different for anyone and we all need to be aware and self-conscious of our actions at all times. In times of stress, incidental contact can create significant impact on a person even though there may be no intent in the other person's actions to create harm," adds Nielsen. 

More Kamloops News