CALGARY -- Calgary police have sent a saliva sample for testing – collected from the scene of what they are calling a hate crime – in an effort to identify the suspect responsible.

Officials say a woman, who is a member of a racialized community, was walking toward the front door of a Dollarama located at 5401 Temple Dr. N.E. at 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 11.

When she arrived, a man was leaving, so she stepped aside to give him a clear path.

That's when police say the man assaulted her.

"Without provocation, he spit on the woman and called her a racial slur," police said in a release. "The man then left the area on foot."

During the investigation, police say they collected a sample of saliva from the woman's clothing and submitted it for forensic testing in the hopes of identifying the man through his DNA.

As well, police were able to obtain CCTV footage of the suspect. They have been using photos captured from that video to search for him.

The suspect is described as olive-skinned, approximately 6' (183 centimetres) with a medium build. Police say he was wearing a grey jacket and was carrying a white plastic bag at the time of the incident.

Officials say investigations into possible hate crimes are treated with a certain amount of care to ensure that appropriate evidence is collected, including any allegation of hate speech.

"Once charges are laid, the case is sent to a specialized Crown prosecutor to ensure that any evidence of a hate motivation is properly pursued in court."

Anyone with information on the identity of the man is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service by calling 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477
APP: "P3 Tips"