UPDATE: VPD said a man has turned himself in following an assault on Main Street Thursday.
A Vancouver poet and UBC professor says he was the victim of an unprovoked assault on Thursday afternoon around the area of Main Street and West 25th Avenue. He says nobody came to help while he was being punched repeatedly.
Ray Hsu says he was getting off the bus when someone shoved him from behind.
“This is someone who I don’t know and have never seen before. I had a feeling that something might happen,” Hsu told Global News.
He then took a photo of the man.
“This person saw me taking the photo, knocked the camera out of my hands and started punching me in the face.”
Hsu says he fell down and every time he tried to get up, the man punched him again. He says he called for help, but a number of bystanders just continued to walk by.
Eventually the man left and crossed the street, Hsu said. He added that a bystander walked over to reassure him that “everything’s going to be okay, he’s gone now,” but when asked if he could stay and be a witness, the bystander got in his car and drove away.
Someone else then came by and told Hsu they had a video of the altercation, he said.
“I’m really grateful that person did that,” Hsu said.
However, he adds that it was “astonishing” that nobody came to assist him during the altercation, despite numerous calls for help.
“I kept on asking for help, because I thought that somebody was going to help.”
He ended up calling 911 because “no one else would,” he said. Vancouver Police say they are investigating the incident and reviewing images from a number of sources. The person who allegedly attacked Hsu has not yet been arrested and police are encouraging him to contact authorities to give his side of the story.
Hsu says he’s sharing the video in hopes that someone will recognize the alleged perpetrator, but he’s also hoping his story will give bystanders a push to help if they see someone in distress.
“It could have been a lot worse. If the person had a weapon and I had been stabbed, and nobody helped? I think that’s something that gives me pause,” he said.
“If people think very hard about it, maybe something could change.”