Police in Metro Vancouver have reported two sexual and physical assaults that took place against female individuals this past week.
A particular violent one occurred at a SkyTrain station in New Westminster, while a separate incident, involving a young victim, took place at a park in White Rock.
In both cases, the female victims were able to get to safety and call police, resulting in the arrests of male suspects.
A man is in custody after a violent physical and sexual assault on a transit worker at a SkyTrain station in Metro Vancouver.
According to Metro Vancouver Transit Police, around 7:10 a.m. on July 25, a man followed a SkyTrain attendant at Braid Station in New Westminster as she went into an employee crew room.
He positioned himself outside the door and began rubbing his genitals.
When the attendant opened the door, the man forced the door open and entered the room.
Then the suspect allegedly punched the attendant in the stomach and shoved her to the ground.
As the suspect punched her in the head, pulled her hair, and attempted to pull her to the ground, she fought back.
Although she was eventually able to open the door to the room, he continued to try to drag her back in. Yet she managed to free herself from his grasp, and used her radio to contact police.
As the suspect was leaving the station, transit police arrived and apprehended the 29-year-old suspect.
Howard Geddes Skelding of Surrey, who transit police state is “very well known to police”, has been charged with one count of assault with a weapon.
Additional charges are being recommended, including sexual assault, indecent act, forcible confinement, and robbery.
Geddes Skelding is in custody until his next court appearance on August 11 in New Westminster provincial court.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police commended the transit employee for her bravery and how she handled the violent situation.
In a separate case, White Rock RCMP stated that police received a report about an elderly man who attempted to befriend a female youth at Allan Hogg Rotary Park, at 15497 Buena Vista Avenue in White Rock, in the afternoon on July 27.
The man then groped and kissed the youth without her consent. The suspect and victim were not known to each other.
RCMP arrested the male suspect on July 27. He was later released on conditions pending a charge recommendation.
“We thank the victim of this sexual assault for reporting this and providing the information necessary to bring this person to justice,” White Rock RCMP spokesperson Const. Chantal Sears stated in a news release.
White Rock RCMP are asking any other individuals who may have been subject to unwanted attention or sexual assault to contact them at 778-545-4800.