Metro Vancouver Transit Police have arrested a suspect following a series of five seemingly random assaults on transit passengers, including several incidents in Burnaby and one in Vancouver.
The first incident occurred on Oct. 29, 2021, at about 10:30 p.m. in front of Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station in Vancouver. A man was disembarking the number nine bus when he was approached from behind by the suspect who then allegedly kicked the victim several times in the legs and attempted to hit him in the face, Transit Police said in a news release.
The second incident occurred on Jan. 6, at about 5:30 p.m., near Royal Oak Station in Burnaby, when the suspect, who was seated on board a SkyTrain, got up from his seat and, without provocation, allegedly kicked the victim in the face.
The third and fourth alleged assaults occurred on Jan. 26 at about 8 p.m. The suspect, again without provocation, first allegedly punched a fellow passenger in the back of the head three or four times on board a SkyTrain near Metrotown Station. Shortly after, the suspect boarded another train and allegedly hit a second passenger in the face with an empty beer can.
In the last incident reported to police, which occurred on Feb. 3, at about 5 p.m. near Patterson Station, the suspect allegedly punched a SkyTrain passenger in the face three or six times while on board the train.
“In all incidents, the suspect and victim were not known to each other, and there was no interaction between the two prior to the alleged assaults,” said Transit Police.
The Metro Vancouver Transit Police General Investigation Unit linked this series of assaults to one suspect.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police are recommending five counts of assault for a 35-year-old New Westminster man who is known to police.
“Thankfully, none of the victims in these incidents sustained serious physical injuries,” said Const. Amanda Steed, in a statement. “However, the escalating violent behaviour of this individual is very concerning, especially given that it was directed at complete strangers. Everyone has the right to feel safe on transit and violence of any kind will never be tolerated.”
Anyone with any information regarding these incidents, or who may have been a victim of a similar incident and has not yet spoken to police, is asked to contact Transit Police by phone at 604-515-8300 or by text at 87-77-77.