BC Transit has issued a statement to Black Press in regards to the attack that took place on a Sikh teen on Monday, Sept. 11 in Kelowna.
“BC Transit is aware of the recent incident in Kelowna, involving a youth being assaulted with pepper spray,” said they said in the statement. “Our thoughts are with the victim of this assault, and the organization is supporting the Kelowna RCMP. As this is an active investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”
The attack took place at a bus stop at Rutland Road South and Robson Road East. After an altercation on the city bus, those involved were asked to leave. As they were leaving the bus, a youth deployed bear spray on the 17-year old Sikh victim.
After the public was made aware of the attack, the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) released their own statement about the attack, saying they’re “deeply concerned.” On top of the attack, WSO was disappointed the bus driver didn’t step in to help during the assault.
“What is incredibly disappointing is that the BC Transit bus driver did not intervene and in fact removed both the attackers and the victim from the bus, leaving the Sikh student to fend for himself,” said WSO BC Vice-President Guntaas Kaur. “We call on BC Transit to investigate why the driver in this incident did nothing to stop the attack and by removing the victim from the bus, allowed the attack to continue.”
BC Transit said it was made aware of the incident. “Our thoughts are with the victim of this assault, and the organization is supporting the Kelowna RCMP. As this is an active investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”
“Though incidents of this nature are rare on BC Transit buses and at bus stops, we take reports of inappropriate and illegal behavior within our systems very seriously and work closely with police to follow the legal process for complaints,” BC Transit continues. “If someone is the victim of an inappropriate or illegal activity, or sees something that is inappropriate or illegal on the bus, please tell the driver immediately or call the police.”
The RCMP have completed their preliminary investigation and the suspect was arrested on Wednesday night and is appearing in court on Thursday.