A man who groped a female passenger on SkyTrain has been arrested, and was found to be wanted for a previous sexual assault on transit.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police announced today (December 10) that around 7:15 a.m. on December 3, a young woman boarded the SkyTrain at Nanaimo Station.
Due to the morning rush hour, there was standing-room-only in the crowded car.
As the train approached Commercial-Broadway station, the woman felt someone grope her buttocks several times.
When she looked at the man next to her, she saw his hand near where she had been touched. She asked another passenger to push the onboard emergency alarm for her.
Both the victim and suspect disembarked at the station upon arrival. The victim immediately told a SkyTrain attendant what happened and pointed out the suspect. The attendant relayed the information to transit police.
Transit officers, who were on patrol at the station, spoke with the victim, searched the area, and arrested the suspect on the pedestrian overpass.
Officers arrested Grant Lionel Houle, a 39-year-old man with no fixed address, who is well-known to police.
During investigation, officers discovered he is also wanted on an outstanding warrant for sexual assault from an incident on a bus in June.
He has now been charged with a second count of sexual assault for this latest incident.
Anyone who is a victim of a sexual offence can text Metro Vancouver Transit Police discreetly at 87-77-77 or can call 604-515-8300.
On November 26, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), in partnership with the nightlife group Barwatch, launched the anti-groping Hands Off! campaign to raise awareness that groping is sexual assault.
The VPD stated that since January 2018, they have investigated 174 reports of unwanted touching while transit police investigated another 75 cases.
Meanwhile on December 5, a Vancouver police officer was assaulted while arresting a male passenger who was masturbating on a bus in Fairview.