Calgary police seek suspects in CTrain assault

Click to play video: 'Calgary police ask for public’s help finding assault suspects; report increase in violence downtown' Calgary police ask for public’s help finding assault suspects; report increase in violence downtown
WATCH: Calgary police are asking for the public’s help finding two suspects connected to a violent assault at a downtown CTrain station. As Lauren Pullen reports, it comes amid a reported rise in violence downtown. – May 5, 2022

The Calgary Police Service is looking for two suspects believed to be connected to an unprovoked attack at the City Hall CTrain platform in April.

Police say a man in his 50s entered a shelter at the City Hall CTrain station just before 8 p.m. on April 18, when an unknown man and woman approached him.

According to a Thursday press release, the man grabbed the victim and threw him from the platform onto the train tracks headfirst. The suspects then fled the area, leaving the victim unconscious on the train tracks.

The victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries after transit officers located him and called for EMS.

A police spokesperson told Global News the victim received medical treatment that night but does not remember what happened. The victim has been receiving psychological support through the CPS victims assistance team, the spokesperson said.

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Read more: What’s happening on Calgary streets: Police bolster efforts to curb violent crime

A picture of the woman police say was involved in an unprovoked assault on a man at the City Hall CTrain station on April 18. Provided by the Calgary Police Service.
A picture of the man police say is involved in an unprovoked assault at the City Hall CTrain platform on April 18. Provided by the Calgary Police Service.

According to CPS, the man is described as approximately five foot eight with a slim build, short dark hair and dark, stubbled facial hair. He was wearing a brown bomber-style jacket and blue jeans and black dress shoes.

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The woman is described as approximately five foot eight with a slim build. She was wearing a red hooded jacket and black pants.

The incident is part of growing concerns about safety on Calgary’s CTrains and buses. Calgary Transit recently unveiled its relaunch strategy as more people return to the office, which includes investments into transit safety.

Read more: City of Calgary implementing enhanced safety measures on transit system

Naima Botay said she is not surprised that someone was attacked at the CTrain station. She said she tries to avoid taking the train at night because of fears for her safety.

“I don’t feel unsafe all the time, but sometimes,” Botay said.

“I see some people lying on the chairs, drinking and talking badly. Some people yell at me to go back to my country and about my religion, stuff like that.”

Liam Akehurst said he doesn’t feel unsafe riding the trains but tries to pay more attention to his surroundings.

“I would like to see more peace officers… Just them being around really slow (the incidents) down a lot,” Akehurst said.

Matt Hinchey, a detective for the CPS violent crime investigative team, told Global News the increase in violence in Calgary’s downtown core is because more people are downtown.

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Hinchey said there has been an increase in robberies and assaults in district one, which encompasses most of downtown Calgary.

Read more: City of Calgary extends hours of LRT station closures over ‘social disorder’

“It’s hard to say what is causing this increase,” he said.

“Social disorder, drug use, mental health… It often leads to social disorder and that often leads to violence because people are put off activity that is not normal.”

Hinchey said CPS has taken “substantial steps” to mitigate and decrease violence downtown. This includes setting up a hub at Stephen Avenue, working together with social agencies and adding more patrols for transit police, but resources are often spread thin.

“If you see something abnormal, trust your gut feeling and call 911 if it’s an emergency,” he said.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the police non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can be left anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

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