CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Calgary police have released the photo of a suspect wanted in a hate-motivated assault on the CTrain in late October.
Mira Baker got on at the Sunnyside station and was taking the ‘Red Line’ home from on October 27, when she came across a man who she says was verbally abusive.
“It was somewhere around the Stampede Station that a man approached me and started making fun of the fact that I’m transgender and we had some words back and forth, and I told him he needs to leave me the ‘F’ alone,” she said. “Finally he went and sat down, he continued to say something, and I couldn’t understand what they were because of the noise from the train, and I also have, so I don’t hear 100 per cent.”
Baker says he was saying things to her and the person next to him. It was at that point he got up and allegedly punched Baker in the nose.
“I was just taken aback. I couldn’t believe someone had walked up and just hit me right in the face. Just instinctually I grabbed him and pinned him against the doors of the train, and we stayed like that. It could have been a few seconds. It could have been a few minutes. I don’t know,” she said.
That’s when another young man managed to pull them apart. The door then opened at the Chinook Station, and he walked out of the car.
She says there was no immediate support from other passengers in the train car and she had to ask about half a dozen times for someone to push the emergency bar.
“I don’t understand how that doesn’t equate to emergency in their heads and after repeating myself many times I think someone finally did because I finally heard a voice on the train speaker because it was muffled plus bad hearing,” said Baker.
She walked off the train at the station. She says she couldn’t find the train driver or any kind of police response. In her eyes, there was no help of any kind.
The long-time Calgary resident says she’s never experienced discrimination like this while living in the city.
“It’s a hate crime. They only reason he approached me was to verbally harass me for being transgender when that escalated, and he wasn’t getting the results he wanted. You’re not going to sit here and do this to me.”
660 NEWS reached out to the Calgary police and the investigating officer says the transit police were immediately notified.
He wants people to know the CPS consider hate crimes an appalling and unacceptable act. Authorities are appealing to any of the dozens of witnesses on the train or the LRT platform to come forward. He’s also asking anyone who can identify the suspect to call police or Crime Stoppers.
In the meantime, Baker wants people to know when people need help and they’re asking for help, she’s hopeful people will believe them.
“I felt really helpless with so many dozens of people around. I felt completely helpless to do anything,” said Baker.
Anyone with information about this incident, or the identity of the offender is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service by calling the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or emailing the Hate Crimes Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips can also be left anonymously through Crime Stoppers using either of the following methods: