SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Metro Vancouver Transit Police are looking to identify two people who are accused of violently assaulting a 61-year-old woman on a bus on Tuesday.
According to police, the victim was looking to grab a seat next to a woman on a 96B bus leaving Surrey Central SkyTrain Station when the suspect refused, claiming the chair was being saved for her husband.
The 61-year-old was reportedly pushed off the seat onto the floor, and then the male suspect sat down.
She tried to take a photo of the pair, which is when things turned violent.
“The female suspect allegedly grabbed the cellphone from the victim’s hands, a struggle ensued and she threw the phone on the floor,” reads a release. “She then allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair and pulled her entire body over the back of the seat, striking her head and chest on the metal handrail repeatedly while threatening to kill her.”
The scuffle was broken up by the husband, who Transit Police’s Anne Drennan says then grabbed the woman’s phone.
“As soon as the bus driver realized that there was a commotion, he pulled over into the first stop that he possibly could –King George and 88th– and he called the police immediately,” she tells NEWS 1130.
Drennan says the couple got off the bus as soon as it stopped, which is when the victim tried to follow them to get her phone back.
“She was in tremendous pain, I think it was adrenaline at the time, she was so upset, frightened, in pain, but she wanted to get her phone back. And she knew that she had tried to take at least pictures of the two suspects, and she wanted that phone back… And when the male suspect realized that he smashed the phone down on the ground and the two took off and went into Bear Creek Plaza. That’s the last they were seen.”
The victim suffered a number of injuries, including a broken arm, cracked sternum, minor head trauma, and bruising, Drennan says. “She’s also extremely traumatized by what has happened, and remains so to this day.”
Police are now releasing images of the two suspects, as well as video with the hopes someone might be able to identify them.
“We were able to get still photographs from the bus, etcetera, as a result of surveillance cameras as well as video.”
Drennan says police have been able to speak with several witnesses. “One in particular who is a particularly good witness and saw the incident from beginning to end. And he has provided us with extremely valuable information.”
They are hoping others who may be of help also come forward. “And of course we’re asking anybody who recognizes these suspects from the photos, the video, and the descriptions to give us a call on our tip line.”
The victim, who is from Burnaby, was taken to hospital.
The suspects are described as:
- South Asian female, 30 to 35 years, 5’6” tall, medium build, long black hair in a messy ponytail, bad teeth, wearing a purple/maroon jacket with fur trimmed hood, patterned leggings, purple
socks and black shoes.
- South Asian male, 30 to 35 years, 5’10” tall, short dark hair, beard and moustache, wearing an olive green hoodie with a light circle shaped logo on the chest and a bright coloured hood lining, black shorts, black shoes and carrying a red “GoodLife Fitness” duffle bag.
“It was a particularly vicious assault on a 61-year-old woman over nothing more than a seat on a bus,” Drennan says. “Our mandate is to protect our passengers and keep them as safe as possible when they’re using the transit system, and we would very much like to identify these suspects and bring them to justice.”
If you have any information, you’re asked to call Transit Police at 604-516-7419 and refer to file #18-5346. You can also text the MVTP at 87-77-77.