On Thursday evening Erev Pesach, police responded to a report of an assault at a restaurant in Winnipeg – Canada. A woman said she’d been assaulted, and the restaurant was spray-painted with hateful graffiti, police said.
Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth said Wednesday the attack was staged.
“The anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism were also falsely reported as being done by outside suspects, We found evidence of a crime. It just wasn’t a hate crime,” said Smyth. The police spent over 1000 hours with 25 officers on the case.
The 3 owners stick to their original story and strongly deny the allegations that it was staged. “My grandmother’s family, they died in the Holocaust. Just her and her little brother survived, the whole family. We don’t joke about that,” she said.
Adding, “We didn’t, because we don’t joke about swastikas on our walls,” Oxana Berent said in an interview with Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Manitoba’s afternoon radio show, Up to Speed.
It is interesting as the community seems to have completely agreed with the investigators allegations.
In a written statement Wednesday afternoon, the Jewish federation said:
“We are shocked and deeply disturbed by today’s news. It is deplorable that anyone would make false allegations of anti-Semitism, especially claims of such a serious nature, for any kind of gain.
“False complaints of criminal acts of anti-Semitism are not only illegal, they undermine the important work necessary to counter anti-Semitism and hate in all forms.
“We reiterate our appreciation of the work of the Winnipeg Police Service and their continued support for the Jewish community.”
The store was up for sale as was one of the owners homes. Additionally, a crowd funding site to support the family has been taken down.