VANCOUVER — Transit police in Metro Vancouver are asking for help as they try to identify a woman suspected of ridiculing and then punching a teenage girl in an apparent hate crime last month.
The incident took place on board a bus in Vancouver on May 21, and police say the suspect got off transit at an intersection in the Downtown Eastside.
They say the woman began mocking the 17-year-old who was wearing a head scarf after the teenager boarded the bus with her mother near Vancouver's Pacific Centre mall.
Police say the suspect asked the teen where she was from and if she was Canadian before allegedly punching her in the head several times, partially knocking off her head scarf.
After the suspect got off the bus, police say she took off her boots and used them to hit a Good Samaritan who had followed the woman and called 911.
Police say that person ran away after the suspect pulled out a knife.
The suspect is described as around 40 years old, five feet eight inches tall and "possibly Indigenous."
They say she was wearing a dark top, sunglasses and jean shorts, and carrying a reflective silver backpack.
Vancouver police have said crimes against people of Asian descent have driven an overall increase in hate crimes since COVID-19 forced British Columbia into a state of emergency in March.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.