Suspect sought in violent attack on bus in Vancouver
VANCOUVER -- Metro Vancouver Transit Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect accused of attacking a woman, pulling her hair and punching her multiple times on a bus.
Police say the man boarded a bus at Main and East Hastings streets in Vancouver around 4:25 p.m. on April 15. Two Asian women wearing protective masks got on the bus shortly after.
"The man immediately directed his attention to the two women, stating words to the effect of, 'Go back to your country; that's where it all started,'" police said in a statement released Tuesday.
A woman who was sitting across from the man asked him to leave the two women alone, and police say this led to a brief argument between them where the man allegedly threatened her.
"Moments later, the suspect allegedly jumped up and kicked the victim in the leg," police said. "As the victim stood up to defend herself, the suspect allegedly reached over and violently pulled the victim's hair, pulling so hard that a large clump of hair was pulled from her head."
The suspect then allegedly punched the victim several times in the head and wrestled her to the ground, police said. The victim was able to fight the suspect off while pinned to the floor of the bus, according to police. The suspect got off the bus and was last seen running away near Commercial Drive and East Hastings.
Transit police Const. Mike Yake told CTV News Vancouver investigators have checked in with the victim, and she is doing "relatively well."
"It’s extremely disappointing. And we’re very clear that there’s no room on transit for violence or racism. This woman was simply a Good Samaritan," Yake said. He added police have spoken to multiple witnesses and have finally reached a point in their investigation where they need help from the public in identifying the suspect.
The man is described as white, about 45 to 55 years old, and approximately 5'6". He has a stocky build and weighs about 180 pounds. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a red baseball hat with the letter V in the centre, a blue T-shirt, light grey sweat pants and blue shoes. He was also carrying a dark grey jacket with a grey backpack.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Transit Police at 604-516-7419.
This is the second violent attack that’s been reported by police on the transit system within the last month. On April 30th, a man was arrested and charged in connection with another attack on SkyTrain. In that case, police said the suspect assaulted a woman on a train, after yelling, "You people are why my daughter is sick."
Yake said if anyone is in a situation where they feel uncomfortable on transit, they can text Transit Police at 87-77-77 or call 911.
"We don’t want any members of the public to put their safety in jeopardy, or put the safety of others in jeopardy," Yake said.