Metro Vancouver’s Transit Police says they have arrested a 40-year-old Burnaby man for allegedly sexually assaulting a female TransLink bus driver while the bus was in motion.
According to a release, the incident occurred on Thursday, January 12 at approximately 6:45 pm when Mohammed Sahib boarded an eastbound bus at Holdom Station. Throughout the bus ride along Lougheed Highway, the man approached the driver a number of times and offered the driver candy and asked for information.
As the driver was turning the bus into Production Way Station, Sahib approached her again and asked if she would like to go for drinks after her shift, but when she declined his offer he allegedly reached his hand between her legs and fondled her.
In response, the driver pushed the man’s hand away, pushed the alarm and continued driving the bus into the bus loop, where the man disembarked and walked into the SkyTrain station.
The driver continued on to Lougheed Station and met Transit Police officers to provide a description of the suspect which was broadcast to all front line employees.
Sahib was later spotted by a SkyTrain attendant riding on a westbound train on the Evergreen extension, and he was arrested by Transit Police at Moody Station.
Transit Police say Sahib has since been charged with sexual assault for the incident on the bus and with theft under $5,000. He is known to police and there was already a warrant for his arrest for a previous theft.
He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court on January 30, 2017.
“I commend this bus operator for her presence of mind in an extremely difficult situation” said Transit Police Chief Doug LePard in a statement. “By calmly alerting the communications centre and maintaining control of her multi-ton moving vehicle, she ensured the safety of her passengers, pedestrians and other motorists in the area. She provided us with an excellent description of the suspect, in a timely manner, which allowed us to effect a quick arrest.”
On Wednesday evening, Transit Police also responded to an incident at 152nd Street and 16th Avenue in Surrey at approximately 5:20 pm when a passenger became hostile because her bus driver would not stop in between the designated bus stops.
The passenger allegedly threw a cup full of hot coffee down the back of the driver as she stopped her bus at the next designated stop, but fortunately the driver was not physically injured as she was wearing multiple layers. Unfortunately, the passenger in this incident was able to leave the area without being caught.
Transit Police say 101 bus drivers were assaulted in 2016 and 102 in 2015.