Vancouver, Jun 10: Four white Canadians were Tuesday charged with a racial assault on a group of Indians at Langley on the outskirts of Vancouver.
According to police, the six Indian-origin men were playing tennis at the weekend when the four suspects approached them and started shouting "racially based expletives.''
The assailants, who included three young men and a woman, went on to pull fence boards even as they continued shouting racial "obscenities and threats.''
Police said: "The suspects attempted to enter the tennis court which was now barricaded by the tennis players. They were able to force their way into the tennis court and intimidated the victims until they were backed into a corner.
"One of the suspects threw a fence board at the group of tennis players hitting one of them in the head.''
Before fleeing, the assailants took away personal belongings of the victims.
They were later arrested and the stolen belongings of the Indians recovered, police said. The suspects were Tuesday formally charged with assault with a weapon, robbery, causing physical harm and uttering threats.
While 19-year-old Rodney Mercieca was remanded to police custody till his bail hearing June 12, the three others - Lesley Rothwell, 18, and two boys aged 15 and 16 who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act - were released to appear in court later.
All the six victims come from the nearby city of Abbotsford where Indians, mostly Punjabis, constitute about 25 percent of the city's population of about 100,000.
The provincial police's hate crime unit is also involved in the investigation.
In the recent past, the Indian Canadian community in the Vancouver has been subjected many deadly racial attacks.
Two elderly Sikh men were killed in two separate attacks by white youths at a park in the city of Surrey near here five years ago.
Earlier, another elderly Sikh, who worked at a temple in Surrey, was also killed in a racial attack.