An Aboriginal woman and her teenage daughter were racially abused and attacked by a white man with a swastika on his forehead last week, in an attack police have said has "no place in society".
According to WA Police, the 40-year-old woman and her 15-year-old daughter were out getting dinner near a Gosnells Shopping Centre in the southeast Perth suburb of Gosnells at around 6.20pm last Saturday, when they were approached by the man on Corfield Street, between Verna Street and the Corfield Shopping Centre.
He yelled racial obscenities at the woman before spraying a can of aerosol deodorant in her direction. Police said the man lit the spray with a cigarette lighter and pointed the flame at the 40-year-old woman, leaving her with minor burns on her arm.
"Any assault on a mother and her daughter simply going about the lawful business trying to get something to eat for dinner is atrocious but when you add in the racial element, it's certainly not tolerated by society," said the Officer in Charge of the State Security Investigation Unit, Detective Senior Sergeant Sean Bell.
He told reporters the man may live locally.
"The fact that he was there the next morning, the fact that he was around there indicates that he knows where he is and frequents the area," he said.
The man fled on foot and was last seen on Dwyer Crescent in Gosnells.
He's described as fair skinned, around 40-years-old, with a white swastika painted on his forehead. Police said he was wearing a black button up long sleeve shirt, black baggy trousers and an oversized red necktie at the time of the attack.
It is not yet known whether the man is part of any organised neo-Nazi or white supremacist groups.
Police are allocating all their available resources to find the man and have called on the community to pass on any information they may have about the attack.
"We are treating this cowardly and random attack on a woman and her child, doing nothing more than walking to the shops in the early evening, very seriously. This type of behaviour is not acceptable and is not tolerated within our community," said Detective Senior Sergeant Bell.
Anyone who can identify the man or has any information regarding the incident is being urged by police to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.
By Sarah Smit