New Westminster – A 21 year old man of no fixed address is in custody following his arrest for numerous offences after he stalked and threatened a young woman on the SkyTrain.
The woman boarded the train at Waterfront Station shortly after 3 pm, Tuesday, June 2, 2015 and noticed a man with blood on one hand who was staring intently at her. The man continually played with a knife that had an 8 inch blade while staring at the woman. She moved several times to distance herself from the man but he followed closely behind her.
At Columbia Station, the woman tried to get off the train but the man blocked her exit. Other passengers used the safety alarms on the train and texted Transit Police to seek help. As the train reached Scott Road Station, frightened passengers all got off the train, including the young woman. The suspect also got off at this location.
Leaving the platform, the suspect then went downstairs to the bus loop/park and ride area where he attempted to stop a bus leaving the loop but, when unsuccessful, threw a bottle of liquor in the air and tried to leave the area. Three observant passengers chased and tackled him, holding him until police arrived shortly afterward.
Transit Police and Surrey RCMP officers arrived taking the suspect into custody and looking after the victim, who was extremely traumatized. The victim was offered victim support services.
Arrested and charged is Melvin Estuardo Ascon Carias, who is known to police and was on probation at the time of his arrest, following a conviction in December 2014 for two counts of Assault with a Weapon. The conditions of that probation order included:
- Not to possess or carry any weapons
- Not to be on SkyTrain anywhere in the Lower Mainland; and
- Not to consume alcohol.
As a result of Transit Police investigation, Ascon Carias has now been charged with Forcible Confinement, Assault with a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose and Breach of Probation. He has been remanded in custody and will make his next court appearance today, Friday, June 5, 2015, in Surrey Provincial Court.
Events such as this are rare on our transit system. While we would never recommend that citizens put themselves at risk we commend the actions of numerous witnesses to these offences for their actions in assisting both the victim and the police.