A 36-year-old woman has been charged after an apparent hate crime that occurred on a Vancouver bus earlier this year.
The Metro Vancouver Transit Police say that the incident occurred 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 a 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.”
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The female suspect, 36-year-old Star Marie Payou, was identified in mid-July and has since been charged with assault and assault with a weapon.
Constable Mike Yate, spokesperson for Metro Vancouver Transit Police, says that Payou has since been released with multiple conditions.
These conditions include not having contact with the victims, not possessing knives or weapons, and not being found on any Coast Mountain Bus Company property, including buses, bus stops, or bus loops.
She’ll also be making a court appearance on Wednesday, September 23, at Vancouver Provincial Court.
With files from Eric Zimmer