The latest victim of an alleged unprovoked stranger assault in Metro Vancouver is speaking out.
Zenia Marshall was shopping at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby with her friend on Monday.
“All of a sudden, this lady came out of nowhere. She kind of just beelined towards me, took a few steps in front of me, took both of her hands and then pushed me with both of her hands, full force,” she told Global News.
“I kind of staggered back and I was very confused, because I’ve never seen this lady before. My friend had never seen this lady before. We didn’t know who she was.”
The woman then walked away and got on an escalator, but not before Marshall was able to get a photo of half her face and a brief video.
She and her friend collected themselves before contacting security and police.
Burnaby RCMP said they have identified a suspect in the alleged assault, but no one had been arrested. Police cannot publicly release a suspect’s name until they have been charged.
“We do not believe they knew each other, and that’s what’s most concerning and troubling about this type of crime is there’s no real reasoning to it,” RCMP Cpl. Brett Cunningham said, adding that the detachment’s High Risk Offender Unit had been tasked to the case.
“We seek out the help of our high risk offender unit when we see an offender who may be a chronic offender or a repeat offender. So in this case, we’ve sought out their help to determine any patterns and to pursue criminal charges.”
The incident is the latest in a number of unprovoked attacks reported across the region, some of which have left their victims with critical injuries.
In the last eight weeks, charges have been laid against different suspects accused of throwing hot coffee in the face of a Tim Hortons worker and stabbing a Mexican tourist at another cafe.
Police estimate that in the City of Vancouver alone, four stranger assaults are happening every day.
It’s that apparent trend that has left Marshall shaken, though she escaped without being badly hurt.
“I woke up the next day and I still felt really weird about it. I didn’t leave my house for a few days. I just wanted to recoup. Emotionally speaking, it was just stunning that it had happened, because had it happened differently, it could have been worse,” she said.
“If I had been a kid or a senior, it would have been very different as well. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the possibilities because I’ve been hearing about a lot of different attacks on the news.”