British Columbia

Man arrested for harassing woman with baby on Vancouver bus

The mother boarded a bus with her baby in a stroller at Davie Street and Bute Street around 5:15 p.m. on May 31.

Arthur Cherpak, 56, accused of poking baby's harness and lunging at mother

A man is in custody after allegedly harassing a woman with a baby on a Vancouver bus on May 31, 2017. (David Horemans/CBC)

A man has been arrested after allegedly harassing and lunging at a woman travelling with her baby on a Vancouver bus last month.

The mother boarded a bus with her baby in a stroller at Davie Street and Bute Street around 5:15 p.m. on May 31. Transit Police said Arthur Cherpak boarded at the Thurlow Street stop a few minutes later.

A statement from Transit Police said he became fixated on the 16-month-old child, allegedly leaning over and pushing on the release button on the stroller's harness.

Cherpak allegedly yelled and swore at the mother when she asked him to leave her child alone. He's also accused of blocking the doors and lunging at her when she tried to leave.

Officials said other passengers stepped in several times, pinning the suspect down at one point, but he broke free and got off the bus at the Granville Street stop.

The mother stayed onboard to avoid him, but Cherpak continued to stand outside the bus yelling. Eventually, he left and she was able to get off the bus unharmed.

Cherpak, 56, has been charged with uttering threats, assault and criminal harassment. The statement said he is well known to police and remains in custody.

Transit Police praised the witnesses who stepped up to help.

"All passengers using our transit system have the right to travel without fear of harassment or assault ... the passengers who helped this young woman are commended for their actions."