Transit police in Vancouver have arrested a 46-year-old man in an alleged hate-motivated attack on a Muslim woman.
Noor Fadel, 18, boarded a Canada Line train Monday night, and shortly after the suspect allegedly began hurling obscenities in a mix of Arabic and another language she did not understand, according to CBC News.
He allegedly told her to go back to her country and threatened to "kill all Muslims," according to a statement from police on Wednesday.
— Global News: BC 1 (@BC1) December 7, 2017
Police have charged Pierre Belvan with one count of threatening to cause death or bodily harm and one count of assault. A charge of sexual assault was also recommended.
Fadel alleges the suspect grabbed her head, "pulled it into his crotch and attempted to pull off her hijab," police said. She says he then slapped her face.
"And everyone watched as he did so," Fadel wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. "Everyone stayed seated and did not utter a word but one man."
When 18-year old Noor Fadel was assaulted on a Vancouver subway by a man who said he wanted to "kill all Muslims," everyone on board just sat and watched. Except for one guy.— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) December 7, 2017
His name is Jake Taylor. #ThankYouJake pic.twitter.com/PGz6NsFl2u
That person — or protector, as police later described him — was Jake Taylor.
"I went over there and I gave him a shove, told him to get the F out of there," he told CTV News.
The suspect left the train soon after, while Fadel and Taylor called the police after getting off at the following stop.
Police said Fadel was "extremely traumatized" and had difficulty breathing. Paramedics were also sent to the scene.
'He's my hero'
Officers managed to track down the suspect getting off the train at the airport. He was taken into custody without incident.
On Facebook, Fadel described Taylor as "once a stranger [and] now a dear friend who stood up for me no matter for my appearance."
"He's my hero," she said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to Global News.
Police also heaped praise on Fadel's protector.
"We would like to thank and commend the gentleman who intervened in this incident and came to the aid of the woman," officials said in the statement.
"He put his own safety at risk and stopped what might have become an even more serious situation."
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