Screaming match breaks out on SkyTrain, seemingly fuelled by pandemic protocols
VANCOUVER -- The video starts by showing two men yelling at each other on a SkyTrain.
One is wearing a mask and the other is not. Both are close and in each others' faces.
When the pair sits down separately the yelling continues, and the maskless man says to another rider, "I'll pay you $100 to punch him out."
"It's quite an aggressive, verbal altercation that we see," said Sgt. Clint Hampton with Metro Vancouver Transit Police. "And the reality is that this could have escalated into something far more serious."
It is unclear when the incident actually took place or what prompted the argument, but the video was posted to YouTube on Wednesday and the poster titled it "Corona Virus Fight On SkyTrain."
CTV News has reached out to the poster for context.
Transit police have not been able to determine what day the incident happened as the poster did not reach out to them directly.
"Makes it very, very difficult, because we don't necessarily have a time frame, a date or anything like that," said Hampton.
The two-minute long video continues with a number of expletives shouted at each other and other riders, a man and a woman, appear to get involved.
At one point, someone can be heard yelling, "Let's go then. I'll kick his a** outside." This occurs as the SkyTrain is pulling into the Joyce-Collingwood stop.
The maskless man then shouts, claiming the pandemic is, "fake, it's fake, it's so f***ing fake!"
He goes on to exclaim, "Wake up, have you seen the funeral homes? You see dead bodies? It's so f***ing fake."
This video has surfaced the same week B.C. is seeing COVID-19 cases climb at a record pace.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday she recommends the public to wear masks inside all public spaces and that it's part of their "mutual responsibilities to protect ourselves and to protect each other."
This is not the first time the pandemic has appeared to be at the centre of a fight on transit.
Last week, a video showing an unmasked woman spitting on a fellow bus passenger was posted to TikTok. In the video, the woman who spat on someone is then shoved down the steps and out the side door of the bus.
Hampton told CTV News MVTP has identified both people involved in this incident.
"Our officers are still working through that investigation and determining what charges if any would be appropriate," he said.
And last month, two men got into a violent fight after one offered the other a mask when he wasn't wearing one, reminding him of TransLink's mandatory mask policy.
"These are really rare incidents," said Hampton expressing the safety of the public transit system.
"We don't want people to confront those individuals because we don't want to see an incident like this," he went on, "if they see something like this unfolding, discreetly call or text transit police so that we can intervene and hopefully stop that incident from escalating into something more serious."