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Edmonton senior shares terrifying LRT station encounter: ‘I was screaming for help’

Click to play video: 'Edmonton senior recounts terrifying LRT station encounter near University of Alberta' Edmonton senior recounts terrifying LRT station encounter near University of Alberta
The senior who was pushed from the Health Sciences/Jubilee LRT platform onto the tracks last week says she'll likely never ride transit again. As Morgan Black reports, Sharda Devi Naidu said she's felt unsafe on transit for a while – May 2, 2022

The Edmonton senior pushed from the Health Sciences/Jubilee LRT platform last Monday is echoing the concerns of other commuters — citing instances of aggression and violence inside stations.

Sharda Devi Naidu was shoved on to the tracks inside an LRT station last Monday.

Edmonton police said she had been standing on the platform along 114 Street near at 83 Avenue waiting for a train when the man “unexpectedly ran up and pushed the female off the platform onto the LRT tracks.”

Police described the incident as “a violent, unprovoked assault on a senior.”

Read more: Man charged after ‘unprovoked attack’ on senior at Edmonton LRT station

The 78-year-old spoke with Global News over the phone from her hospital bed. She’s still recovering after being pushed from the platform and shattering her leg.

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Sharda Devi Naidu, 78, was pushed off the platform of the Health Sciences/Jubilee LRT platform in Edmonton on Monday, April 25, 2022. Supplied to Global News

Naidu told Global News she knew her leg was broken the minute she landed on the LRT tracks.

“I was screaming for help. Then, I saw the train coming. [I was there for a long time]…I thought ‘I’m done’. But luckily, the train stopped.”

When asked if she saw herself going on the LRT again, Naidu replied “I don’t think so.”

Read more: Troubled Transit: State of Edmonton’s LRT system frustrates, shocks riders

The senior works as a porter at University of Alberta Hospital, located across the street from the train station.

According to the family’s GoFundMe page, she has worked with Alberta Health Services for 49 years.

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She said she’s felt unsafe on the LRT for a while, particularly when coming home from late night shifts.

Click to play video: 'Some Edmontonians raise concerns about transit system’s impact on adjacent neighbourhoods' Some Edmontonians raise concerns about transit system’s impact on adjacent neighbourhoods
Some Edmontonians raise concerns about transit system’s impact on adjacent neighbourhoods – Apr 28, 2022

Like many riders, public transit is Naidu’s only option to get to work. A few months ago in December 2021, she called the City of Edmonton’s 311 information line after an unsettling incident.

Read more: ‘Ugly side of convenience’: Neighbours near Edmonton LRT station weigh benefits

“I called and told [the operator], it’s not safe to take a train. People are roaming free and they are harming other people. We are paying to get into the train and we are in trouble.”
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Naidu said she is doubtful she will be able to return to work as a porter.

Click to play video: 'Troubled Transit: Edmonton’s LRT system frustrates and shocks riders' Troubled Transit: Edmonton’s LRT system frustrates and shocks riders
Troubled Transit: Edmonton’s LRT system frustrates and shocks riders – Apr 27, 2022

Her family has started a fundraiser to assist with medical costs and home modifications.

Read more: Search for solutions: How do Edmonton leaders improve the LRT system?

Police said they had arrested a man in relation to the incident on Tuesday evening, with the assistance of transit security and transit peace officers.

On Wednesday, police said the suspect was arrested after a report of an attack with a weapon on a 53-year-old man at Churchill LRT station.

The attack was captured on surveillance video and peace officers were able to locate the suspect when they arrived at the underground station near city hall.

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According to the news release, officers recognized the man and said he was the same one connected to the attack on Naidu.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton man faces charges in unprovoked LRT attack' Edmonton man faces charges in unprovoked LRT attack
Edmonton man faces charges in unprovoked LRT attack – Apr 27, 2022

Kendall Raine, 20, is facing one count each of assault with and possession of a weapon for the incident at Churchill LRT station, as well as one count of aggravated assault in relation to the Jubilee incident.

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