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Father asks man who burned daughter with hot tea in road rage case to come forward

CALGARY — The father of a Calgary girl who was burned in an apparent case of road rage is asking a man who threw hot tea through an open car window to come forward and apologize.

Police have said the incident happened in the city's northeast late on Aug. 15 when a man was driving home with his family and was nearly hit by a vehicle that ran a red light.

"It just happened ... in 30 seconds," said Fahim Mirza, whose seven-year old daughter was burned.

He said he hit the brakes to avoid a collision, rolled down his window and exchanged words with three men in a car.

"I said, 'I had to brake so hard, I would have hit you. My kids are sitting over here,'" Mirza recalled. "He yelled back to me, 'You moron' and all that stuff. And I said, 'You moron.'"

He said a man in the passenger seat then got out and threw a cup of hot green tea through the open window.

The tea missed Mirza, but splashed his daughter on the left side of her face and shoulder. She was taken to hospital to be treated for second-degree burns and has since been released.

Mirza said his daughter is struggling and often asks why she was the one who got burned.

"She asked her grandfather the other day, 'Am I not beautiful anymore?'" he said. "We had to pause to see what can we answer."

He said it's been heartbreaking.

"Every day when you look at your child's face and you see those marks, it hurts," said Mirza.

"I hope that somebody who has some kind of information or even that person comes up and admits that he was at fault — at least. Come on, be a man."

Police said they are looking for three South Asian men who fled the scene in a silver, four-door sedan.

"Finding these people is the first step," said acting Staff Sgt. Lon Brewster. "We have to then build enough of a case to make an arrest.

"There's two sides to every event so we will make sure an investigation is fair and through."

Brewster said investigators would like to talk to the three men in the sedan.

"We want to speak to their better nature," he said. "In the heat of the moment, a decision was made out of anger — we understand that — but now it's time to come forward and tell your story and stand up for those consequences."

Brewster also asked anyone who witnessed the apparent road rage to contact police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2020

The Canadian Press

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