Police identify suspect in apparent hate crime on Vancouver bus

Jul 15 2020, 10:14 am

After a teen and a Good Samaritan were recently attacked on a Vancouver bus in what was deemed to be an apparent hate crime, a suspect is now facing charges in connection with the incident, police said on Wednesday.

According to Metro Vancouver Transit Police, the incident took place at approximately 3:45 pm on May 21, when a 17-year-old girl and her mother boarded a bus near Pacific Centre Mall in Vancouver.

“A woman on the bus directed her attention toward the teen, who was wearing a headscarf, asking where she was from and if she was Canadian,” police said in a release. “The woman then ridiculed and mocked the teen’s ethnicity.”

Police said the woman then “became increasingly aggressive toward the teen, stating words to the effect of ‘Your smile is making me want to punch you in the face,’” before allegedly proceeding to punch the teen in the head “several times.”

The victim’s headscarf “was partially knocked off before her mother and a fellow passenger were able to separate the suspect from the teen,” police said.

The suspect, who got off the bus at Hastings Street and Jackson Avenue in Vancouver, was followed by the Good Samaritan, who called 911.

And when she noticed she was being followed, “the suspect allegedly took off her boots and began hitting the Good Samaritan.” The suspect then brandished a knife, at which point the “Good Samaritan backed off with the suspect running away.”

On Wednesday, police said they’re now recommending a number of charges against the suspect, who they identified as a 36-year-old woman of no fixed address.

These charges, they said, include Assault, Assault with a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose and Failure to Comply with Probation Order.

“There is no place for hate, racism or biases on the transit system,” said Transit Police in a statement. “All passengers using our transit system have the right to travel without fear of harassment or assault.”

The suspect’s next court appearance is scheduled for this September, police said.

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