Vancouver police has confirmed to have arrested and charged a suspect, Peter Anthony Lee Gagen, with assault and uttering threats in the aftermath of an alleged hate crime incident on Aug. 20 at a SkyTrain station. According to the police, a man tripped a woman at the Broadway-City Hall station and she accidentally bumped into the suspect moments before while getting off a bus.
Transit Police spokeswoman, Anne Drennan, explained that “the man angrily made allegedly racist comments towards the woman causing her son to speak to him,” adding that “this further enraged the man, which caused a passerby to intervene and ask him to stop speaking that way.” The suspect can be seen challenging the son of the woman and the passerby to a fight, which prompted the passerby to begin videoing the interaction on his cell phone. Gagen allegedly charged at passerby by grabbing him and pushing him against a glass wall, before leaving the station. Drennan alleged that the victim suffered a bleeding scrape to his wrist and bruising.
The incident was probed by the Transit Police along with the VPD, which led to the arrest of Gagen at a gym in Kitsilano on Thursday. 50-year-old Gagen was held in custody overnight and made a court appearance on Friday afternoon. Transit Police continues to investigate the matter, liaising with the B.C. hate crimes team. Drennan concluded that “while we would never recommend a citizen put him or herself in harm’s way, we commend the passerby/victim for his actions during this incident.”
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