A suspect wanted in connection alleged sexual assault on a passenger while on a TransLink bus this past summer was arrested by Metro Vancouver Transit Police for a second alleged incident recently – this time on the SkyTrain.
According to police, the incident happened around 7:15 am on December 3, when a woman boarded the SkyTrain at Nanaimo Station.
“As it was morning rush hour, the car was crowded and there was standing-room only,” police said. “As the train approached the next station — Commercial-Broadway — the woman felt a hand grope her buttocks several times.”
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In response, the woman looked at the man next to her, and “saw his hand near the spot she had been touched,” police said. At that point, the woman asked another passenger to push the onboard alarm for her.
When the train arrived at Commercial-Broadway Station, both the victim and the suspect got off, “with the victim immediately speaking to a SkyTrain Attendant, advising what had happened and pointing out the suspect,” police said. The SkyTrain Attendant broadcast information for responding Transit Police.
Transit Police officers, on patrol at Commercial-Broadway Station, arrived moments later and spoke briefly with the victim before conducting a search of the area. The suspect was arrested a short time later on the pedestrian overpass.
During a follow-up investigation with the suspect, police identified him as 39-year-old Grant Lionel Houle, of no fixed address. They also determined he was the subject of an outstanding warrant for sexual assault, resulting from an incident on a bus, in June of this year.
Houle has now been charged with a second count of Sexual Assault relating to this latest incident.
“Sexual offences on our transit system are one of top priorities. Passengers have the right to safe travel without fear of unwanted, inappropriate touching,” said Transit Police Sgt. Clint Hampton. “We encourage anyone who is a victim of a sexual offence to text us discreetly at 87.77.77 or call us at 604-515-8300.”