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Man accused of racially motivated attack on B.C. bus dies of overdose: police

Metro Vancouver Transit Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man, shown in a handout photo, suspected in a racially motivated attack against a woman. Police say a man who boarded a bus on the Downtown Eastside on April 15 made discriminatory remarks directed at two Asian women who got on wearing masks.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man, shown in a handout photo, suspected in a racially motivated attack against a woman. Police say a man who boarded a bus on the Downtown Eastside on April 15 made discriminatory remarks directed at two Asian women who got on wearing masks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Metro Vancouver Transit Police.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police say the man accused of attacking a Good Samaritan who intervened in a racist incident aboard a transit bus has since died of a drug overdose.

Investigators said the suspect was a 48-year-old Vancouver man of no fixed address who was “well known to police.”

READ MORE: Suspect wanted in Vancouver bus attack on woman who stood up to racist comments

The man died about a week after the incident, said police.

Police say the attack happened on the afternoon of April 15, aboard a TransLink bus at Main and East Hastings Streets.

According to police, the man told a pair of Asian women who had boarded the bus wearing masks to go back to their country.

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Another woman on the bus told the man to leave the two women alone.

According to police, an argument followed, after which the man kicked the woman in the leg, pulled out a clump of her hair and punched her repeatedly in the head before fleeing.

Click to play video 'Suspect wanted for attack on transit bus' Suspect wanted for attack on transit bus
Suspect wanted for attack on transit bus – May 12, 2020

The attack is among a spike in incidents of anti-Asian racist outbursts, graffiti and assaults in the region in recent weeks.

Twenty anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported to Vancouver police so far this year, compared to 12 in all of 2019.

In recent incidents, a young woman was punched in the face while waiting for a bus in what Vancouver police called an “unprovoked attack” and a 92-year-old man was assaulted outside a convenience store on March 13.

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-With files from Amy Judd