Female wanted in racist assault on Middle Eastern female teenager

METRO Vancouver Transit Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect who allegedly attacked a young woman and a Good Samaritan in an apparent hate crime.

At approximately 3:45 p.m. on May 21, a 17-year-old teenager and her mother boarded a bus near Pacific Centre Mall in Vancouver. A woman on the bus directed her attention toward the teen, who was wearing a headscarf, asking where she was from and if she was Canadian.

The woman then ridiculed and mocked the teen’s ethnicity (Syrian / Middle Eastern). The woman became increasingly aggressive toward the teen, stating words to the effect of “your smile is making me want to punch you in the face.” The woman then allegedly punched the teen in the head several times. The victim’s headscarf was partially knocked off before her mother and a fellow passenger were able to separate the suspect from the teen.

The suspect, who got off the bus at Hastings Street and Jackson Avenue in Vancouver, was followed by the Good Samaritan who called 9-1-1. When the suspect noticed she was being followed, she allegedly took off her boots and began hitting the Good Samaritan. When she brandished a knife, the Good Samaritan backed off with the suspect running away.

The suspect is described as possibly an indigenous female, approximately 40-years-old, 5’8”, weighing approximately 140 lbs. She was wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses, dark top with the word “Pink” written on the back, blue jean shorts and black boots, and was carrying a distinct backpack which is silver and very reflective causing it to change colours in different lights.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police said on Monday that there is no place for hate, racism or biases on the transit system. All passengers using the transit system have the right to travel without fear of harassment or assault.

Police would like to speak to anyone with information about the identity of this suspect or who witnessed this incident. Contact the Metro Vancouver Transit Police tip line at 604-516-7419 or text at 87.77.77 and refer to file 2020-9802.