TWO men have been arrested by Metro Vancouver Transit Police for separate incidents of sexual assault on Transit.
On March 2 at 8 a.m., a passenger witnessed the sexual assault of another passenger on bus route 33 travelling from the 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station to UBC. The witness advised the bus operator, who called Transit Police, but the suspect got off the bus shortly afterwards in the 2100 block of Westbrook Mall.
The victim and witness were both interviewed, with the witness advising that the same suspect had sexually assaulted her in the same manner (groping of leg and thigh) three to four weeks earlier on the same bus route, but she had felt too frightened to report it at the time. Investigations were initiated into both incidents.
On March 17, the witness to the March 2 event advised police that she was on the Route 33 bus and the suspect was also on board. Police attended the 2200 block West 16th Avenue and removed the suspect from the bus, placing him under arrest.
The suspect was later released on a promise to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court on April 29, and on an undertaking given to a peace officer with conditions not to be found on any Coast Mountain Bus, SeaBus or SkyTrain or Canada Line train. He is a 57-year-old Vancouver man, not previously known to police.
The victim of the March 2 event is an ESL student from Japan who is returning home shortly. She has no plans to return to Vancouver which has caused Crown Counsel to decide that charges relating to her incident cannot be approved.
The earlier event, in which the witness from March 2 was actually the victim, is being processed with a charge of sexual assault pending.
IN another incident, on March 20, shortly after 8 a.m., a woman on the SkyTrain at the Marine Drive Station felt her buttocks being cupped from behind. She turned and yelled at the suspect to get away from her and get off the train, which he did. The victim continued on to Yaletown Station where she reported the incident to Transit Police. An alert Transit Police dispatcher recognized the suspect description as being that of a man who is a repeat sexual offender on the transit system and advised the investigators.
At 8:30 a.m. on March 23, Transit Police arrested Joseph Wai Hung Lui at his residence in Vancouver. Lui is 43 years old and is a prolific offender with an extensive history with Transit Police. He made his first appearance in court and was released on an undertaking with conditions that include not to be on any SkyTrain including Canada Line or Canada Line property and, if travelling by bus, must stand within 10 feet of the bus operator. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 14 at 9:30 a.m. in Vancouver Provincial Court.
Anne Drennan, Media Advisor, Metro Vancouver Transit Police, said: “We commend the women involved in these incidents for coming forward and providing the information we need to take predators off the transit system. Coming forward can be a difficult decision but is one that makes a difference to all women using transit.
“Combating sexual offending on the transit system is a top priority for Transit Police. We are committed to taking every report of unwanted sexual behaviour seriously and investigating thoroughly.”