VICTORIA -- Victoria police say they are investigating a suspected "hate-motivated assault" after a man was arrested for allegedly spitting at an Asian woman and her four children near an elementary school.

The incident began just after noon Tuesday when a non-uniformed VicPD officer was driving their personal vehicle and spotted a shirtless man acting erratically in the 3000-block of Quadra Street.

The officer reportedly saw the man yell and motion aggressively towards a man and his child, prompting the pair to flee the area unharmed.

Police say the officer then followed the man and called for backup as he walked towards Quadra Elementary School.

Soon after, the man allegedly picked up a broom handle and approached a woman who was walking with her four children and a stroller.

"The man spat at the family, narrowly missing a child, and yelled racial slurs regarding the family’s Asian ethnicity," said VicPD in a release Wednesday.

The non-uniformed officer then moved to intervene, at which point the man began striking the officer's car, according to police.

Uniformed officers quickly arrived at the scene and took the man into custody, say police.

The man is now facing recommended charges of assault and mischief. Police say the investigation is ongoing and is being treated as hate-motivated.

"British Columbia and North America have seen significant increases in hate-motivated crime towards Asian persons," said VicPD, though the police department says that the increase in similar hate crimes in Victoria has been less dramatic compared to other regions of B.C.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Victoria police at 250-995-7654 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.