Transit police are looking for a woman after a teen wearing a headscarf was allegedly assaulted in an “apparent hate crime” on a Vancouver bus on May 21.
In a Monday press release, Metro Vancouver Transit Police said the alleged assault started at about 3:45 p.m. when a 17-year-old and her mother boarded a bus near Pacific Centre.
Police said an unknown woman asked the teen where she was from and if she was Canadian. Police said the woman then “ridiculed and mocked” the teen’s ethnicity, allegedly telling the teen that her “smile is making me want to punch you in the face.”
— Kat Slepian (@katslepian) June 1, 2020
The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times, partially knocking off her headscarf before the mother and another passenger were able to stop the woman.
Police said the suspect got off the bus at Hastings Street and Jackson Avenue. A Good Samaritan followed the woman and call 911 before allegedly being assaulted by the suspect.
The suspect is described as a possibly Indigenous woman, about 40 years old, five-foot-eight, and weighing 140 pounds. Police said she was wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses, dark top with the word “pink” written on the back, blue jean shorts, black boots, and carrying a distinct silver and very reflective backpack that changes colour in different lights.
“There is no place for hate, racism or biases on the transit system,” transit police said. “All passengers using our transit system have the right to travel without fear of harassment or assault.”
Anyone who saw the incident or can identify the suspect is asked to call transit police at 604-516-741 or text 87-77-77, and cite file no. 2020-9802.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.