Suspect throws coffee, pushes woman at New Westminster SkyTrain station
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018 12:36PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 3, 2018 6:38PM PDT
Transit Police are asking for the public's help to identify a man who threw his coffee at a woman and pushed her dangerously close to the tracks at a SkyTrain station in New Westminster.
Chilling security video of what spokesperson Clint Hampton called an "unprovoked assault" shows the 42-year-old victim rushing to board a train at New Westminster Station at 10:43 a.m. on Friday, April 6.
According to Hampton, she accidentally bumped into the suspect, who is seen wearing a hoodie and jeans, as she hurried towards the closing doors.
The victim and suspect are then seen speaking to each other on the platform. As the woman turns away, the man then comes back around the corner and throws his coffee at her back. When she turns to confront him, he pushes her to the ground.
The woman is seen falling backwards and hitting the back of her head on the platform.
"An accidental bump or even an exchange of words doesn't warrant a physical assault," Hampton said.
Transit Police say the suspect left the station as another rider went to help the victim.
The woman was taken to hospital and treated for minor neck and back injuries.
Hampton said authorities checked in with her as recently as Tuesday, adding that the victim has recovered physically, but is still traumatized by the experience.
"Anybody who's been through this kind of incident is often then scared to ride the train, they're afraid that they may run into that individual again, so I think she's gone through a lot of that as well," he said.
The video also shocked other transit users at New Westminster Station Wednesday.
"You never really know what happened that morning with that guy when that happened, but definitely not needed at all," one rider told CTV News after watching the clip.
The suspect is described as a white man in his mid-30s. Investigators say he's about six feet tall with a medium build, short black hair and possibly blue eyes. He was wearing a black hoodie with white designs on the pocket area.
Nearly a month after the incident, Transit Police haven't been able to identify the man, who could face assault charges.
"Our avenues of investigation have kind of exhausted," Hampton said. "We have good images and we think the public can help."
According to Transit Police, assaults dropped 22 per cent between 2015 and 2017. Assaults with a weapon were down nearly 30 per cent during the same period.
But Hampton said it's impossible to tell when an incident like this will occur and encouraged transit users to be aware of their surroundings and ask for help from TransLink staff or Transit Police if they need it.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has any information about the incident is asked to contact Transit Police at 604-516-7419 and refer to file number 18-6202.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos