Man arrested in connection with alleged hate crime against Muslim teen on Canada Line
UPDATE: Transit police say they arrested a 46-year-old man in connection with an “alleged unprovoked hate-motivated attack on the Canada Line.” They said Pierre Belzan was arrested and charged with one count of threatening to cause death or bodily harm and one count of assault. Transit police have also recommended a charge of sexual assault, which is pending. He was remanded in custody and is scheduled to make a court appearance on Wednesday.
Transit police are investigating after a young Muslim woman claims she was attacked on the Canada Line.
In a Facebook post, the teen said moments after boarding a train at Waterfront station on Monday night, a man got up and started swearing at her and screaming profanities.
The young woman, who wears a hijab, claims the man threatened to kill her and all Muslims.
The man then struck her across the face, she said.
The teen said the train was full of people but only one other passenger came to her aid.
She wrote the male passenger “pushed the guy away and stayed in front of me until the man got off at Vancouver City Centre [station].”
The Good Samaritan stayed with her as police and paramedics arrived at the Yaletown station.
The victim’s brother, Abdul Fadel, told Global News he is disappointed that in “a train full of people, not a single person, aside from one gentleman, stepped in to help out, especially after she was physically assaulted. That’s kind of sad to see.”
The young woman said she was too nervous to film the incident but managed to snap some photos of the alleged assailant, which she then posted to Facebook.
Abdul said his sister didn’t suffer any serious physical injuries but she is still shaken up by the incident.
“Most of all, we’re really concerned about her well-being; her being afraid to leave the house, afraid to go to work, afraid to go to school,” he said.
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