Metro Vancouver Transit Police are issuing a warning to women in Vancouver after a man followed a woman from a bus, to a train and beyond.
On January 26, 2017, at approximately 9:40 pm, a young woman boarded a 99B bus at Main and Broadway and sat down. A man seated nearby got up and stood immediately beside her while attempting to initiate a conversation. The woman left the bus at Grandview and Commercial and, as she walked toward the Commercial and Broadway SkyTrain Station, spotted the man following her.
While on the platform waiting for the train, the woman noted the man standing approximately two feet away from her. Concerned for her safety, she called her boyfriend and asked him to meet her at the Rupert SkyTrain Station.
The suspect sat near the woman while on the train. She got off at Rupert Station and, as she began walking southbound on Rupert Street, she saw him following her. Her boyfriend arrived moments later and, as she crossed the street to meet him, they saw the suspect run away into a nearby parking lot. The woman reported the incident to Transit Police approximately 24 hours later.
The suspect is described as a South Asian male, 30 to 40 years of age, 5’5” to 5’6”, medium build, balding with a “combover”, wearing an over- sized black leather jacket and khaki pants.
While reporting this incident to Transit Police was the right thing to do, as was calling her partner, the woman was advised of several other ways the police could have been alerted in timely manner. Using our text code, 87 77 77, to discreetly and directly contact the Transit Police, would have worked well in this situation. If we are made aware of a problem, in real time, we can dispatch officers to a specific location. This can provide protection for a victim as well as giving us a much better chance of apprehending the suspect.
Although not as discreet, pushing the yellow safety strip on the train, using the phone in the safety zones on platforms, phoning 911 or advising a train attendant are other good methods of alerting police as soon as possible that there is a problem.
Transit Police Chief Doug LePard stated, “Passengers have the right to use transit free from harassment of any kind. We take every report seriously and investigate thoroughly. I encourage anyone victimized, or who witnesses this kind of behaviour, to contact us immediately.”