Vancouver Police are appealing for witnesses after a staff member of a Downtown Eastside coffee shop was assaulted earlier this week.

A woman entered the Tim Hortons near Pender and Abbott streets on October 20 around 10 a.m. and ordered a coffee. Surveillance footage shows the female employee handing the woman a cup of hot coffee, which the suspect then threw back in her face.

“This employee was just trying to do her job,” says Constable Tania Visintin.  “It’s appalling that she was subjected to this type of abuse and it’s extremely fortunate that she was not seriously injured.”

The suspect is described as white, 25 to 30 years old, and has a medium build. She has black and green shoulder-length hair, and was wearing a black t-shirt with a black rain jacket on top, black jeans, and black boots. She had on a black face mask and was carrying a camouflage-coloured backpack. She left the area before police arrived.

“This file is being reviewed further by our Hate Crimes Investigator to determine if elements of hate, prejudice or bias were factors,” adds Constable Visintin.

If anyone recognizes the suspect, or has any information, they are asked to call police at 604-717-4021.