Male suspect assaults woman defending two Asian bus riders from racist remarks in Vancouver

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      Update: Metro Vancouver Transit Police announced on May 13 that the suspect has been identified and he has been confirmed to have died. For more information, see this article.

      Original article (May 12):

      While numerous awareness efforts are being launched to address the increasing number of racially motivated crimes against Asian people during the COVID-19 pandemic, transit police have released details of another such incident in Vancouver.

      In this case, the victim was a female bus rider who stood up to defend two Asian women who were under verbal attack.

      Metro Vancouver Transit Police stated today (May 12) in a news release that around 4:25 p.m. on April 15, a male suspect boarded a bus at Main Street and East Hastings in Vancouver.

      Shortly thereafter, two Asian women wearing protective masks boarded the bus and sat down.

      The man allegedly said to the two women something along the lines of “Go back to your country; that’s where it all started.”

      Then a third woman sitting across from the man told him to leave the women alone.

      After an argument developed, the man threatened the woman, then jumped up and kicked the woman in the leg. When she stood up to defend herself, the suspect allegedly ripped a clump of hair from her head.

      He then punched her in the head several times and wrestled her to the floor, but she was able to fight him off.

      After the suspect exited the bus, he was last seen running away near Commercial Drive and East Hastings Street.

      The victim sustained injuries on her leg and scalp.

      The suspect is described as a white male who appears to be between 45 and 55 years old.

      He is approximately 168 centimetres (five-feet, six-inches) tall and weighs about 82 kilograms (180 pounds).

      At the time of the incident, he was wearing a red baseball cap with the letter V in the centre, a blue T-shirt, light-grey sweatpants, and blue shoes. He was also carrying a dark grey jacket and a grey backpack.

      Anyone with information about this suspect or who witnessed this incident is asked to call the Metro Vancouver Transit Police tip line at 604-516-7419.

      Metro Vancouver Transit Police
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.