New Westminster – A 27 year old Vancouver man has been arrested and charged in relation to two sexual assaults on buses, which occurred a week apart.
On April 5, 2015, at 7:45 am, a Japanese exchange student boarded a bus headed to Vancouver at the Phibbs Bus Exchange in North Vancouver, and sat down in a window seat. A man boarded and sat beside her even though the bus was less than a quarter full. For ten minutes the man repeatedly touched the student inappropriately, attempting to place her hand between his legs and to kiss her. She rebuffed his advances but he was persistent until he got off the bus at Main and Hastings. The student later advised her Canadian host who advised Transit Police, and an investigation was initiated.
On April 12, 2015, at 7:48 am, a young woman boarded a bus headed to Vancouver, again at the Phibbs Bus Exchange, and sat down in a window seat. A man boarded and sat down beside her with the bus less than a quarter full. For approximately ten minutes the man repeatedly touched the woman inappropriately, even though she tried to move away from him. He got off the bus at Hastings and Pender. The woman advised Transit Police later that day.
The location and times of the two offences, the actions of the suspect and the suspect descriptions were a match. On April 19, 2015, at 7:45 am, plain clothes Transit Police officers arrested the suspect at the Phibbs bus exchange.
Arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault is Mukesh Yasarapu, 27 years. Yasarapu was released on a Recognizance following a JP hearing, on numerous conditions which include:
Yasarapu, not previously known to police, is scheduled for his next court appearance in Vancouver Provincial Court, on April 29, 2015.
Sexual offences on the transit system are a priority for Transit Police. We acknowledge that reporting this type of crime can be difficult for victims. We will be thoughtful and sensitive in our approach to ensure every report is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police is committed to maintaining order, promoting safety and reducing crime on the transit system in Metro Vancouver.