Cassidee Hogan is wondering why she had to wait so long for help after being brutally assaulted on an Edmonton LRT.
It happened on Wednesday at around noon.
“There was a woman between 40 and 50 yelling at an elderly lady,” Hogan said. “I told her nobody wanted to hear it and that if she wanted to fight, to go on Facebook.”
That’s when Hogan said the woman approached her from across the train. She smashed Hogan’s head into a bar and knocked her out briefly. Then she started driving her feet into Hogan’s face.
“I’m happy it didn’t happen to somebody else, it could of killed them. It wasn’t a calm attack or anything. It was very unprovoked.”
There were other passengers on the train and they pressed the emergency button.
The train stopped at Belvedere Station and Hogan crawled off, but there was no one there to help her. She said the woman who beat her got off too, and continued to yell.
“I was expecting at least a security guard from the station would be down there or the transit driver would be out of the train. At least somebody would be around to call for help or take the next steps,” Hogan said.
Hogan, herself, called 911. She was told police were on their way.
A train operator driving the opposite direction stopped and helped her.
“I have broken orbital bone and two facial fractures in my cheek, a laceration stemming from each side of my eye all the way across and about one millimeter up from my eyelid.”
There is also risk for brain damage, and just a 50 per cent chance Hogan’s vision will return to her left eye.
Edmonton Transit Service said in a statement to Global News:
“The safety of passengers and staff is our highest priority, and this altercation was dealt with as quickly as possible.
“The emergency button on the train was pushed, and that call went directly to the LRT Operator in the cab of that particular train. The operator immediately contacted the LRT Control Centre who quickly contacted EPS and EMS who were then dispatched to the scene.
“All safety procedures and protocols were followed.”
Police said it took them about 15 minutes to arrive at the station after the first call.
In 2018, city council approved a $20-million Transit Safety and Security plan. Since last fall, ETS has made a number of safety and security enhancements, including:
· Security guards are deployed at 25 transit centres
· 18 more Transit Peace Officers were recently deployed
· Additional operations staff, to support enhanced safety and security, have been deployed
· All buses (roughly 1,000 in the fleet) are equipped with onboard security cameras
· Over 90 per cent of transit operators have received additional training regarding de-escalating difficult and dangerous situations
· Facility improvements (like improved lighting) have been (and are continuing to be) made
· Retractable bus shields are in the process of being installed to protect bus operators
Since last fall they have seen a 25 per cent reduction transit reported crime.
This is little comfort for Hogan.
“If they invested thousands and thousands of dollars into security, I don’t think it worked very well,” Hogan said.
Police arrested a 52-year-old woman on scene and charged her with assault causing bodily harm. Edmonton Transit has banned her for a year.