A man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on SkyTrain earlier this year was arrested last week following a standoff with police on SeaBus.
According to a release issued Saturday, Vancouver Police and Transit Police responded to reports of a man behaving belligerently at Waterfront Station’s SeaBus terminal on Tuesday at approximately 7:30 am. He was yelling and waving a stick in the terminal.
When police arrived, the man entered into a restricted area – a narrow cat-walk just one to two metres above water, resulting in a disruption to SeaBus service.
Police were initially unable to de-escalate the situation as the man huddled down within a confined area consisting of steel and wooden beams, which posed a significant safety risk to both the man and the officers attending to the scene.
A Transit Police negotiator, with the help of the Vancouver Police Marine Squad and Emergency Response Team, was eventually able to encourage the suspect to leave the space.
“This is an excellent example of police agencies working together in a seamless partnership to deal with what are often very difficult situations,” said Transit Police Deputy Chief Barry Kross in a statement. “I congratulate our negotiator on a job well done in de-escalating the situation and extend our appreciation to the Vancouver Police Department for their assistance.”
Following the incident on SeaBus, Stephen Silvester was taken into custody without incident and identified as a suspect on an arrest warrant for a sexual assault on SkyTrain.
The 47-year-old man remains in custody on one count of sexual assault for an alleged incident on February 24 at 22nd Street Station when he allegedly grabbed and kissed a woman standing on the train platform. The woman pushed him away and left the area to pick up her daughter.
Approximately 20 minutes later, she returned to the station and boarded a bus, only to find that Silvester had boarded the same bus and sat beside her. When the woman attempted to leave the bus with her daughter at the next stop, he allegedly tried to grab her daughter’s leg, but another passenger intervened.
She went home and called police, and it led to the identification of Silvester as the suspect, who is “very well known” to police.
As a result of his arrest, Silverter’s next court day is scheduled for June 15.
To discretely report a non-emergency incident on Metro Vancouver’s public transit system, you can text message Transit Police dispatch at 87-77-77 . All messages are received by dispatchers around the clock.
Alternatively, you can also call Transit Police at 604-515-8300. For emergencies, always call 911.
Additionally, passengers can also press on the silent alarm buttons located on each car – the long yellow strip along the length of each side window. This will send an alert to the control room, and a SkyTrain attendant or Transit Police officer will be immediately deployed to the car.