Police say a 23-year-old man and his mother were walking towards the platform at the Broadway-City Hall station when a man tripped the woman. She had accidentally bumped into him moments before while getting off a bus.
“The man angrily made allegedly racist comments towards the woman causing her son to speak to him,” said Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan. “This further enraged the man, which caused a passerby to intervene and ask him to stop speaking that way.”
The suspect, Peter Anthony Lee Gagen, then challenged the son and the passerby to a fight, which prompted the passerby to begin videoing the interaction on his cell phone.
Gagen allegedly charged at the Good Samaritan, grabbing him and pushing him against a glass wall, before leaving the station.
The victim suffered a bleeding scrape to his wrist and bruising, Drennan said.
Transit Police investigated the case along with the VPD and arrested Gagen at a gym in Kitsilano on Thursday.
Gagen, 50, is known to police. He was held in custody overnight and made a court appearance on Friday afternoon.
He has been released on a recognizance with conditions that include not to have any contact with the victims and not to be found in the Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station.
Transit Police continue to investigate the matter, liaising with the B.C. hate crimes team.
“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,” Drennan said.