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Syrian family pepper-sprayed in their Surrey home in case of ‘mistaken identity,’ RCMP say

RCMP are investigating a reported pepper-spray attack in Surrey that has left a Syrian family terrified in their own home.

Surrey RCMP believe the incident was a case of mistaken identity.

Nouraddin Hnash, his wife and his three sons moved to Surrey about four years ago. He told Global News he hasn’t made any enemies in that time and can’t imagine why someone would attack his family.

But at around 8 p.m. on Dec. 19, someone did. Hnash says he heard the doorbell ring at his townhouse unit in the 800 block of 102 Avenue, but when he looked through the peephole, he couldn’t see anything.

When he opened the door, Hnash says someone pushed it wider, reached in with a can of pepper spray and let the chemical loose in their front hallway.

He describes the feeling as “fire in my face” and says he yelled to his family to get out of the house. It was his wife’s screaming they believe scared the intruder off.

Hnash’s sons — Mohamed, 10, and Youssef, 8 — both got the spray in their eyes and were treated by first responders at the scene, he says. Hnash’s third son was uninjured.

They’re now afraid to sleep alone.

“It’s really, really scary. I’m worried about what if he comes back again, or maybe he didn’t even go out, maybe he’s still inside,” said Mohamed.

“If he comes back again. If he comes back and pepper sprays us again,” said Youssef.

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