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Georgian student shaken by 'racist' encounter with neighbour (VIDEO)

Experience at girl's west Orillia home was 'terrifying;' She said incident occurred 'just because of our skin colour'

A west Orillia resident is shaken after a verbal altercation with her neighbour, which she says was racist.

Kriya Patel, a citizen of India who studies at Georgian College, was getting a lift home from a friend late on Monday evening.

While both friends were in their car just outside Patel’s house, a white man holding a Budwieser and a cigarette approached them, angry about where they parked.

Patel says he banged their window before launching into a tirade against illegal parking.

“This was terrifying for me,” Patel says.

In a cell phone video, Patel and her friend can be heard explaining they weren’t parking there. The man then made repeated comments about Canadian rules.

“I said to her to go back to her country because she doesn’t know the rules in Canada,” the man can be heard saying loudly.

“You’re racist,” Patel responds from inside the car.

As he gestures at their house and at the street, he said “that’s your house, that’s your property, as of the sidewalk and the streets that’s Canadian property, Canada says you cannot park here.”

Patel thinks his anger and aggression was based on the fact she and her friend were Indian.

“I don’t know what kind of problem he had with us, just because of our skin colour,” says Patel.

Patel says she’s confused why someone would be so angry about parking - especially since she and her friend just arrived and were not out of their car.

As the man walked back and forth with a beer and cigarette, Patel called the OPP, who arrived and spoke with the man on his own property.

Const. Martin Hill of the Orillia OPP says the officers did not lay charges and “there’s no follow-up at this point but if new stuff comes to light we’ll certainly look into it.”

While she and her roommates don’t typically interact with that neighbour, she says she's found “tremendously good personalities" overall.

“Wherever you go there will be good people and there will be bad people,” she said.

However, she says Orillia’s largely white population may not notice how much racist behaviour there is in their own communities.

“The white privilege still exists. Brown people, black people still face discrimination. But people don’t see it.”

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