New Westminster – Metro Vancouver Transit Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect who allegedly deployed bear spray into the face of a TransLink bus operator.
On Sunday, February 20, 2022, at around 2:45 a.m., a man boarded a bus near the 900 block of Main Street in Vancouver and made his way to the rear of the bus. Several minutes into the trip, the man got up from his seat while the bus was in motion. He stumbled and fell, dropping some of his items, as the bus moved. After collecting his things, the man moved to the front of the bus, sitting directly across from the driver.
Once the bus came to a stop, the suspect allegedly reached around the plexiglass barrier that separates passengers from the operator, and sprayed the contents of a canister, believed to be bear spray, into the face of the operator. There was no interaction prior to the alleged assault. The suspect was last seen running northbound on Main Street.
The driver was immediately overcome by the effects of the spray as his ability to breathe became impaired. He was treated on scene by the Vancouver Fire Department and while he did not suffer any serious physical injuries, the incident continues to have an impact on his mental well being.
“This employee was providing an essential and highly valuable service to the public. Everyone deserves to be free from fear of harassment or assault while on transit, including the frontline employees who keep the system moving. Violence of any kind will never be tolerated.” – Constable Amanda Steed
The suspect is described as an Indigenous male, 35-45 years of age, slim build, and short black hair. He was seen wearing a black hooded jacket, dark pants, black runners, black backpack with a Naloxone kit hanging from the shoulder, sunglasses, surgical mask and a necklace with a medium sized pendant or keys hanging near his mid section.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of this suspect or who witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Metro Vancouver Transit Police by phone at 604.515.8300 or by text at 87.77.77