Montreal police have arrested a suspect in connection with alleged death threats and the criminal harassment of a woman of Chinese descent on public transit.
Forty-four year-old Nelson Plante was arrested over the weekend after an investigation into the incident that occurred on the metro during the evening of March 27.
In a statement issued Thursday, police say the department’s hate crimes unit and other officers spoke with members of Montreal’s Asian community to find and meet the victim.
“Thanks to this collaboration, the suspect was quickly identified and arrested,” the force said.
Plante was arrested April 3. Police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said the suspect is being detained until his next court appearance on April 14.
Last week, Rebecca Ng spoke out about the incident. She recorded the suspect who approached her while she was heading home from work. In the video obtained by Global News, the man can be seen approaching the camera and making a gesture.
She said he made a “gun shape with his hand and pretends to shoot me in the head, basically.”
After learning about the arrest of the suspect, Ng said she was happy.
“I was pretty surprised,” she said. “I never expected things to get this far or that we would get results, honestly.”
It also serves as a lesson that when things happen people should speak up because it’s not just about them, she said, it’s about the broader community.
Montreal police say acts of hate toward the Asian community in Montreal have increased by at least five times over the last year.
Police are asking anyone who may have been a victim of a hate crime to immediately contact 911.
— With files from Global News’ Phil Carpenter and The Canadian Press