Police say racism sparked a September bear spray attack, for which a man and woman are now facing charges.

A black man walked into a convenience store on 118 Avenue and 50 Street just after midnight on Sept. 27, where police say he was confronted by a Caucasian man and woman.

The couple allegedly hurled racial slurs at the man, while challenging him to step outside to fight. He refused, and the couple left the store. Police allege the male aggressor shoplifted some items before walking out.

Shortly after leaving, the woman walked back inside and allegedly blasted the man with bear spray.

Officers with the EPS Hate Crimes Unit investigated and identified the suspects through video surveillance and eyewitness reports. “Based on the ongoing investigation, which includes witness information and video evidence, we have reason to believe that the incident was racially motivated,” Staff Sgt. Darren Derko said.

Lacey Dawn Snyder, 21, was charged with harassment, causing a disturbance, assault with a weapon, possession of an offensive weapon and mischief. Dylan Alfred Trommel, 23, was charged with criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and theft under $5,000.