British Columbia

RCMP investigating 2nd bus stop assault this month at Kelowna intersection

A Kelowna father says his daughter will no longer take public transit after dark, after she and a friend were allegedly assaulted by a group of teens while waiting at a bus stop.

Alleged assault happened one week after a Kelowna college student was attacked at bus stop across the highway

A bus stop as seen from along Highway 97 in Kelowna on a sunny day with commercial businesses in the background.
An alleged assault of two teens at a bus stop along Highway 97 in Kelowna is the second incident this month involving a group of people targeting people at a McCurdy Road bus stop. (Google Street View)

A Kelowna B.C., father said his 15-year-old daughter will no longer take public transit after dark, after she and her friend were allegedly assaulted at a bus stop along Highway 97 near McCurdy Road last Thursday.

The incident happened less than one week after a Kelowna college student reported being assaulted by a group of people at a bus stop across the highway at the same intersection. 

The RCMP said they believe the assaults are not related, although both involve reports of a group of people attacking people waiting at bus stops.

CBC News has agreed to not use the last name of the father and his daughter because of concerns for the teen's safety. 

The attack occurred just after nine o'clock in the evening when a large group of teens approached his daughter and her friend while the pair were waiting at the bus stop, Noel said.

"One girl was intentionally targeting her to beat her up," he said 

"She started yanking on [my daughter's] hair and punching her in the face and knocking her to the ground."

When his daughter's friend tried to help, other teens in the group attacked her, Noel said.

The two girls were able to break free and run away but lost their cellphones in the alleged assault, according to the father, who said they were able to use a bystander's phone to call the RCMP.

"My daughter has minor injuries ... she got punched pretty good in the mouth and her eye. She is complaining more about that she feels she has had the hair ripped out of the side of her head and the back of her head," he said.

Police investigators have identified at least one suspect and are working to speak to everyone involved in the incident as well as witnesses, said RCMP spokesperson Const. Mike Della-Paolera.

"One suspect has been arrested," he said. "Due to the age of those involved, we will not be making any further comments."

Six days prior to last Thursday's attack, a young college student was assaulted at a nearby bus stop across the highway.

That incident also involved an assault by a group of people, according to the RCMP.

"They are two separate incidents," said Della-Paolera. 

A bus stop as seen in winter along Highway 97 in Kelowna, B.C., with commercial buildings in the background.
Last Thursday's assault happened less than a week after a college student was attacked by a group of people at the McCurdy Road bus stop on the opposite side of Highway 97 (Google Street View)

The incident last Thursday has Noel concerned about his daughter's safety when using public transit. 

"[She's] afraid of taking the bus again. Definitely at night," he said.

"Should people be afraid to use public transit or even leave their houses at night in fear of this kind of thing happening? This is awful. "

A spokesperson for B.C Transit said the agency is aware of the two assaults and is working with the RCMP.

"Though incidents of this nature are rare on B.C. Transit buses and at bus stops, we take reports of inappropriate and illegal behaviour within our systems very seriously," the agency said in a written statement. 

"Our safety systems include closed circuit television cameras on a majority of buses ... and partnerships with first responders including police, fire and ambulance to support quicker responses to transit-related incidents."

Bus stop infrastructure is managed by local governments, according to a B.C. Transit spokesperson.

CBC News has contacted the City of Kelowna in response to safety concerns at bus stops, but by Monday afternoon, the city had not responded. 

With files from Chad Pawson