Police in Vancouver say a 45-year-old Burnaby man has been identified as a person of interest in an alleged attack on a lesbian couple who say they were targeted after being seen sharing a kiss on a transit bus in September.
Ali Matson, 24, and her girlfriend had just gotten off the bus near the intersection of Commercial Drive and Hastings Street when a man allegedly grabbed each of the women and repeatedly punched them in the head.
Matson suffered two black eyes and injuries to her nose, while her girlfriend escaped with minor injuries, before bystanders intervened and the assailant fled the scene.
The couple believes the man who attacked them had become agitated after seeing them exchange a kiss on the bus.
"There were allegations made by the victim that she was assaulted due to her sexual orientation, an allegation that is taken very seriously by the Vancouver Police Department and one which is being reviewed by our Hate Crimes Unit," Vancouver police Sgt. Randy Fincham said in a written statement.
Following the incident, images of a person of interest were obtained from the bus, which the police released to the public in an appeal for tips.
"A number of tips were received and the Vancouver Police have now identified the person of interest believed to have been involved in the alleged assault as a 45 year-old Burnaby man," Fincham said.
No charges have been laid and the investigation is ongoing, he said.