A suspect has been arrested and charged for three separate assaults, including one where a man was rendered unconscious, following an investigation by the Metro Vancouver Transit Police.
The first incident occurred on April 9 at approximately 8 p.m., when the suspect entered Surrey Central SkyTrain Station and allegedly, purposely and without provocation, body checked a SkyTrain attendant working at the station. The victim described the incident as a “hockey check,” and although he was thrown off balance, he was able to regain his footing.
In the second incident, which occurred on April 14 at about 4:35 p.m., the suspect followed the victim off the SkyTrain at Scott Road SkyTrain Station. While the victim stood at the Compass Vending Machine, the suspect allegedly ran toward and violently body checked the unsuspecting victim so hard that he was thrown to the ground.
The latest incident occurred on April 17 at approximately 7:55 p.m. The suspect allegedly shoulder checked the victim at Gateway SkyTrain Station. He then tried to instigate a fight with the victim, stating multiple times, “hit me,” while striking the victim on the chest. When the victim and his girlfriend tried to leave, the suspect blocked their path.
The victim’s girlfriend was able to call 9-1-1. Fearful for his safety, the victim did his best to run from the suspect but was pulled back as the suspect grabbed his backpack. A security guard from an adjacent building tried to assist the victim, but the suspect was allegedly able to wrap his arm around the victim’s neck, choking him until he lost consciousness. The suspect then fled the area. Thankfully, the victim sustained only minor physical injuries.
Arrested and charged with two counts of assault and one count of assault by choking is 44-year-old Benjamin James McBeath, of no fixed address, who is well known to police. He has been remanded in custody, with his next court appearance scheduled for May 5.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe while using transit. Violence of any kind will never be tolerated. In the April 17 incident, the level of violence used against a complete stranger for no apparent reason is of particular concern. A traumatic event like this can have a lasting, negative psychological impact on any person. The suspect’s alleged actions could have had dire consequences for the victims and were completely abhorrent,” said Sgt. Clint Hampton on Wednesday.
If you see anything on transit that makes you feel unsafe, or are worried for the safety of someone else, contact Transit Police. Text directly and discreetly at 87.77.77 or call 604.515.8300.