RICHMOND RCMP investigators on Wednesday sent out yet another urgent appeal for more witnesses to come forward in connection with the February 14 incident in which two women were randomly and violently assaulted that Valentine’s Day in the downtown core.
In particular, the investigation has revealed that a man stopped to assist the second victim after she was violently assaulted. Investigators believe he may have witnessed the assault and would like to speak with him directly.
They would also like to speak with the driver and occupants of a white sport utility vehicle (SUV) captured on video in the area at the time of one of the assaults.
Given the typically high volume of traffic and pedestrians near the crime scene during weekday mornings, investigators believe there are further witnesses who have not yet come forward.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on February 14, a bystander flagged down a frontline Richmond RCMP officer along the 6400 block of Buswell Street after she discovered a woman lying unconscious on the sidewalk.
The woman did not regain consciousness at the scene, and was transported to hospital by Emergency Health Services.
In the absence of witnesses at the scene, investigators initially believed this was a medical emergency of some sort.
Later that evening, a second woman reported to police that she had been randomly assaulted by an unknown male at approximately the same time that day as she was walking along the sidewalk at the same location where the first woman had been found lying on the sidewalk.
She too had been rendered unconscious for a brief time, but did not report the matter to police in the first instance.
In the interests of public safety, a team of investigators from Richmond RCMP’s Serious Crimes Unit, General Investigations Section, Organized Crime Unit and Strike Force immediately began a very thorough investigation, which quickly lead to the identification and location of the suspect believed to be responsible for these violent assaults.
On February 17, investigators arrested 41-year old Ernesto Mendoza Malgapo of Richmond. He remains in custody, facing one charge of assault causing bodily harm. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 1.
Again, these random and violent assaults occurred along Buswell Street, between Cook Road and Saba Road, shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day.
Anyone who may have witnessed these assaults, or who may have dash-cam video from the area, is requested to call Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212.
Quote file numbers 2023-4816 or 4877 when you call.