WA man arrested over 'racist' attack

A man will face a Perth court after allegedly attacking a woman while hurling racial epithets.
A man will face a Perth court after allegedly attacking a woman while hurling racial epithets.

A Perth man accused of attacking a woman with a flamethrower in a racist attack has been detained by citizens while wearing neo-Nazi insignia.

West Australian police appealed for help to find the man, who had a swastika painted on his head when he allegedly attacked the woman in the southeastern suburb of Gosnells last weekend.

Police said members of the public spotted the man in Gosnells on Wednesday night, wearing a red scarf with swastikas and other neo-Nazi images painted on it.

They detained him and called police.

The 37-year-old was charged with performing an unlawful act with intent to harm and conducted intended to racially harass.

He will face Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The man is accused of approaching a 40-year-old woman and her teenage daughter outside a Gosnells shopping centre on Saturday night.

Police allege he yelled racial obscenities at the woman before attempting to burn her with a makeshift flamethrower made using a can of deodorant and a lighter.

The woman sustained minor injuries.

"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," Detective Senior Sergeant Sean Bell said this week.

"This type of behaviour is not acceptable and is not tolerated within our community."

Australian Associated Press