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Woman shocked by lack of bytstander intervention during alleged SkyTrain assault

Last Updated Jan 25, 2021 at 6:55 am PDT

(Courtesy Facebook/shannon.pang)

Shannon Pang says a man plowed into her at Richmond-Brighouse Station, causing her to fall backward onto concrete steps

Transit police are investigating the alleged assault, victim says lack of bystander intervention was shocking

Pang posted about the alleged assault on Facebook, has been overwhelmed with support

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — A Metro Vancouver woman is speaking out about an alleged assault at a SkyTrain station during Friday’s rush hour, saying she was slammed to the ground by a maskless man while bystanders looked on.

Shannon Pang says she was among a crowd of people walking down the steps at Richmond-Brighouse Station around 5:30 p.m. when a man walking in the opposite direction made eye contact with her.

“He proceeded to walk towards me and didn’t move at all in simply just pushed me down with his body just essentially like ran me over with the full brunt of his body and I fell down backward,” she tells NEWS 1130.

“I was just shocked because I didn’t know what just happened. I don’t think he pushed me with his hands but it was just kind of like, ‘Whoa. Why am I on the ground?’ There were people who saw what happened, they were looking but no one offered to help me or said anything. Then the guy just walked past me, like I was nothing.”

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Pang says she was disoriented at first, then she got angry.

“He just kind of walked leisurely towards the train and got in and sat by the wall. I ran after him and got onto the train and started yelling at him asking like, ‘Why did you push me?’ He just looked at me smugly, this blank look on his face. He never said a single word,” she explains.

Not knowing what to do next, she snapped a quick photo of the man with her phone.

But she says what the man did to her wasn’t the only hurtful thing she experienced in those moments.

“I just felt helpless. There were so many people around me who saw what happened and not even one person asked me if I was okay, or even offered to help me up,” she says.

“It was a very public situation and I didn’t feel safe. I was disappointed, angry. Thankfully, I wasn’t that physically hurt but shocked and surprised.”

Transit Police ‘very concerned,’ investigating¬†

Pang says she does understand why people can be afraid to step in in situations like this.

“I’ve kind of been guilty of that too. It’s kind of that thing where people just assume, ‘Oh well someone else is going to help, or someone else is going to call the police so it’ll be fine. Or it comes out of a place of fear,¬† like well if I help them I’m going to get hurt or retaliated against,'” she says.

“It’s just in such a large crowded space — not a single person did anything.”

She made a police report soon after, and posted on Facebook about what happened Saturday. 

Since then, Pang says she has been overwhelmed by the support she’s received.

“I am completely floored by the responses I’ve gotten to this post and how many times it’s been shared,” she wrote on Sunday.

“I feel so grateful to be part of a community that is willing to come together and help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has taken the time to share, read my long post and come forward with any information. Your supportive messages of positivity are making this experience less negative day by day.”

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The post has been shared hundreds of times, and attracted hundreds of comments.

“I’m totally blown away by the number of people who’ve come out and messaged me and have provided some tips, and are trying to help identify this person. I’m very touched by all of the comments and the help that everyone’s giving me,” she says.

Police confirm they are investigating,

“The Metro Vancouver Transit Police are very concerned by the actions of this suspect,” writes Cst. Mike Yake in a statement.

“Anyone with information regarding this suspect’s identity or who witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Metro Vancouver Transit Police at 604.515.8300 or text us at 87.77.77.”

Yake describes the suspect as a white man in his 30s who is about 6’3″ with a slim build and dark brown hair. He was wearing a black toque, beige jacket with white trim, black pants, and black shoes.