A man allegedly bear sprayed a TransLink bus driver in the face in Vancouver, says the Metro Vancouver Transit Police
On Sunday, Feb. 20, at around 2:45 a.m., a man boarded a bus near the 900 block of Main Street in Vancouver and made his way to the back, explains a news release.
After sitting on the bus for several minutes, he got up from his seat while the bus was moving and stumbled and fell. After he fell, he dropped some of his belongings when the bus moved. After collecting his things, the man moved to the front of the bus, sitting directly across from the driver.
When the bus stopped, the suspect allegedly "reached around the plexiglass barrier that separates passengers from the operator, and sprayed the contents of a canister, believed to be bear spray, into the face of the operator."
Prior to the assault, there was no interaction between the transit operator and the suspect. He was last seen running northbound on Main Street.
The assault immediately impaired the driver's breathing and he was treated by Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services. Police say he did not suffer serious physical injuries, but the assault has had an impact on his mental well-being.
“This employee was providing an essential and highly valuable service to the public. Everyone deserves to be free from fear of harassment or assault while on transit, including the frontline employees who keep the system moving. Violence of any kind will never be tolerated," said Cnst. Amanda Steed
The suspect is described as an Indigenous male, 35-45 years of age, slim build, and short black hair. He was seen wearing a black hooded jacket, dark pants, black runners, a black backpack with a Naloxone kit hanging from the shoulder, sunglasses, surgical mask and a necklace with a medium-sized pendant or keys hanging near his mid-section.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of this suspect or who witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Metro Vancouver Transit Police by phone at 604.515.8300 or by text at 87.77.77