Benjamin James McBeath, 44, of no fixed address, is charged with one count of assault by choking and two counts of assault connected to three separate assaults along Surrey’s SkyTrain line.
Sergeant Clint Hampton, of the Transit Police, called the crimes McBeath is accused of committing “completely abhorrent.”
Hampton said that on April 9, at about 8 p.m., a suspect entered Surrey Central SkyTrain Station and “allegedly, purposefully without provocation” body-checked a SkyTrain Attendant. On April 14, at 4:35 p.m., he said, a similar incident occurred.
“The suspect followed the victim off the SkyTrain at Scott Road SkyTrain Station. While the victim stood at the Compass Vending Machine, the suspect allegedly ran toward and violently body checked the unsuspecting victim so hard that he was thrown to the ground,” Hampton reported.
The third and most recent was at about 7:55 p.m. on April 17, where a man was allegedly shoulder-checked at Gateway SkyTrain Station. Hampton said the suspect then tried to start a fight with the victim, repeatedly goading him to “hit me” while his the victim’s chest.
“When the victim and his girlfriend tried to leave, the suspect blocked their path. The victim’s girlfriend was able to call 911. Fearful for his safety, the victim did his best to run from the suspect but was pulled back as the suspect grabbed his backpack,” Hampton said. “A security guard from an adjacent building tried to assist the victim, but the suspect was allegedly able to wrap his arm around the victim’s neck, choking him until he lost consciousness. The suspect then fled the area. Thankfully, the victim sustained only minor physical injuries.”
Hampton said the level of violence in this latest attack – against a complete stranger and for no apparent reason – is of “particular concern” and that such traumatic events can have a “lasting negative psychological impact on any person.”
Transit Police ask anyone who sees or experiences anything that makes them feel unsafe or worried for the safety of others to contact them by texting, “directly and discreetly,” at 87.77.77 or by calling 604-515-8300.