‘It was race motivated’: Edmonton man sentenced for 3 attacks on Muslim women

EDMONTON — An Edmonton man has been sentenced to 210 days in jail for a number of crimes including three hate-motivated incidents involving Muslim women. 

Shane Tremblay, 44, pleaded guilty to charges of assault and uttering threats in connection with the three incidents that occurred within three weeks of each other. 

Alberta Provincial Court Judge Terry Matchett said the attacks were motivated by discrimination. 

“I think it highly unlikely he just happened to assault three women on three separate occasions who were Muslim,” Matchett said. “It was race motivated.”

“All citizens in our country must be free to be in our communities, participate in our communities, without any fear whatsoever.”

‘I WILL COME FOR YOU AND YOUR PEOPLE’

The three incidents happened in early 2021 near the University of Alberta and Old Strathcona areas.

On Jan. 18 around 2:10 p.m., Tremblay threatened a 43-year-old Black, Muslim woman outside a 7-Eleven on 82 Avenue. He then followed her when she went back into the store telling her, “I know you and I will kill you,” before headbutting her and fleeing the area.

On Feb. 3, around 12:15 p.m at the University transit centre, Tremblay approached a 19-year-old woman at the University of Alberta transit centre wearing a black hijab and told her, “I know about you and what your people were about and I will come for you and your people.”

The teen told him to “have a good day” and attempted to move away but Tremblay followed before fleeing when confronted by a witness. 

About 30 minutes later, Tremblay spotted a woman wearing a niqab walking eastbound on 82 Avenue near 100 Street. He ran across the street and cursed at her before running across the street. 

When the woman continued on, Tremblay pushed her to the ground and threatened her saying, “I will kill you and tear off what you are wearing.”  

Matchett noted that no one was hurt in the three incidents but called Tremblay’s actions “deplorable.”

“The emotional aspect of these is extremely concerning.” 

The total 210 day sentence was arrived at after a joint submission by prosecutors and defence lawyers.

It includes several other convictions from three unrelated incidents: shoplifting a bottle of vodka from a Liquor Depot, damaging a city dump truck with a broken brick, and assaulting a passenger on an Edmonton city bus.

With the standard 1.5-to-1 credit ratio for the 117 days he’s already spent in jail, Tremblay has 35 days remaining to serve.

‘THEY INSTILL FEAR’

Tremblay appeared via video link from the Edmonton Remand Centre and sobbed through much of the hearing. 

“I took some wrong drugs,” he said. “I believed things were happening that weren’t really happening.” 

His lawyer noted Tremblay became addicted to meth when his sister died five years ago.

Matchett noted the recent number of attacks on Muslim women in the Edmonton area, including one earlier in June wear a one woman was knocked out and another had a knife held to her throat.

“As these assaults occur, they cause harm. They cause damage to the victims,” he said.

“They instill fear. They instill fear not only in the victim but in the community.”

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