Woman questions why TTC staff, bystanders didn't help during Kipling subway platform attack
'I was scared for my life,' says York student who claims she was punched in the face
After what she called a "violent" and unprovoked attack on a TTC platform, a Toronto resident is questioning why transit staff did not come to her aid.
In an emotional interview with CBC Toronto, Mimuna Mohamed recounted how a random man approached her and her friend, Ansar Changaranchola, while they were standing on the TTC subway platform at Kipling station around 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday.
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The man called her "beautiful," alleged the York University student, then started to touch her arm before she told him to leave.
A few minutes later, Mohamed said a second man — also a stranger to her and Changaranchola — came off a subway train and shouted at the pair before punching Changaranchola in the shoulder in an unprovoked attack.
Then, she said, the man punched her in the face.
"All I could think was: 'Get to safety. Get out of this train level. Get to the bus level, and run, and run,'" she said. "That's all I could think of. I was scared for my life."
Mohamed said she called the police and made it upstairs to safety with Changaranchola.
But now, she questions why no bystanders — or TTC staff — came to help while a man was "violating" her on TTC property.
"There was no security, or the TTC officers, or personnel who intervened," she said. "We thought he was going to push us on the train tracks."
Changaranchola also echoed her concern that no TTC workers stepped in during the incident that's now given him "nightmares" and left his friend in tears.
"We ran upstairs, and no one asked what was going on," he said.
TTC not always notified if someone reports incident to police
On Wednesday, Toronto police Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu confirmed a call about an assault against a man and woman at Kipling station came in at 11:26 p.m. on Tuesday. The incident is under investigation, she added, but no suspects have been identified.
But TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said there's no similar report from Mohamed with the transit commission.
"Our Transit Enforcement Unit was not contacted or dispatched and our Transit Control Centre received no reports at either subway or surface level," he told CBC Toronto.
He also said the TTC isn't always notified if someone reports an incident to police, even if it happens on TTC property, but does pull security video to assist police.
"We will do that to assist the investigation they have underway," Green said.
Green stressed the level of safety within the transit system, saying the "vast majority" of customers respect each other, but added that anyone who witnesses violence can report the incident by pressing the yellow strip emergency alarms inside subway trains.
Mohamed said that wasn't enough to keep her safe since she was on the platform, not inside a train — and no one watching from inside the subway cars took action.
"Better steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of all passengers, at all times," Mohamed said.
Green said TTC CEO Andy Byford and Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders have "regular meetings" to compare notes on anything that's happened within the transit system.
"Certainly, if there are ways we can look at making that more formal, we can definitely do that," he said.
Mohamed hopes nothing like this happens to anyone else.
"We felt we escaped a life-threatening situation," she said. "And nobody from the company whose property we were on cared enough to acknowledge what happened."