Metro Vancouver Transit Police say they are looking for a suspect who allegedly attacked a young woman and a Good Samaritan in what they’re calling an apparent hate crime.
A 17-year-old girl and her mother boarded a bus near Pacific Centre Mall in Vancouver on May 21 at approximately 3:45 p.m., police said.
A woman who was already on the bus asked the teen, who was wearing a headscarf, where she was from and if she was Canadian.
The woman then “ridiculed and mocked the teen’s ethnicity,” police said, and became increasingly aggressive, telling her, “Your smile is making me want to punch you in the face.”
The woman then allegedly punched the teen in the head several times. Her headscarf was partially knocked off before her mother and another passenger were able to separate the two.
The suspect got off the bus at Hastings Street and Jackson Avenue and was followed by the Good Samaritan, who called 911.
However, when the suspect noticed she was being followed, she allegedly removed her boots and began hitting the Good Samaritan. She brandished a knife and took off, police said.
The suspect is described as possibly an Indigenous woman, approximately 40 years old, 5’8″ tall and weighing about 140 pounds. She was wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses, dark top with the word “Pink” written on the back, blue jean shorts and black boots, and was carrying a distinct silver reflective backpack.
“There is no place for hate, racism or biases on the transit system. All passengers using our transit system have the right to travel without fear of harassment or assault,” transit police said in a release.
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or who witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Metro Vancouver Transit Police tip line at 604-516-7419 or text them at 87-77-77 and refer to file 2020-9802.