Transit Police have arrested a man following an alleged hate crime on the Canada Line Monday night.
Transit Police say 46-year-old Pierre Belzan allegedly threaten a young woman on the sky-train.
In a press release, Transit Police say Belzan allegedly “spoke in Arabic and allegedly hurled obscenities at her, using extremely offensive language. He allegedly told her to go back to her country and that he would kill all Muslims”
Belzan then allegedly went up to the woman and forced her face into his crotch while he tried to take off her hijab.
He then allegedly slapped her and that is when a good Samaritan intervened to separate Belzan from the woman.
According to police Belzan got off at Vancouver City Centre.
In a press release Transit Police say, “The woman called the police and got off the train at Yaletown Station, accompanied by her protector. When Transit Police officers met her there a short time later, the woman was extremely traumatized and had trouble breathing. Paramedics were called to render assistance.”
The woman was able to take photo’s of Belzan; which were then sent over to the Canada Line Operation Management Centre
Transit Police say “Operation Management Centre staff were able to track, by video, the suspect boarding another outbound train, and spotted him disembarking at Vancouver International Airport. Transit Police officers, on foot patrol in the area, moved into the airport, where they were met by the RCMP, and the suspect was quickly spotted in a convenience store. He was taken into custody, by Transit Police, without incident.”
They say Belzan is well known to police, however, he has no past criminal record.
Belzan is now be charged with one count of Threatening to Cause Death or Bodily Harm and one count of Assault.
Police are also recommending that he recommended a charge of Sexual Assault, which they say is currently pending.