Edmonton police investigating assault after senior pushed onto LRT tracks

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City police arrested a male suspect Tuesday evening after a senior was pushed off of an LRT platform onto the tracks Monday night.

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Violence at LRT stations

This is the latest violent incident on Edmonton’s transit system, which has raised issues of safety.

On March 9, a 39-year-old man was waiting at the Central LRT Station with a group when they were approached by another group. An altercation occurred between the two and the man was stabbed.

He was transported to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. A 27-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault.

The Central LRT station in Edmonton on Feb. 6, 2019.
The Central LRT station in Edmonton on Feb. 6, 2019. Photo by Ed Kaiser /Postmedia

Then last April, a University of Alberta student was stabbed after a man attacked him while exiting an LRT train at University Station. The suspect was arrested a few blocks away without incident. He was carrying knives and a container of bear spray.

In March 2021, the city had stepped up security at transit facilities following a series of “hate-motivated” attacks on Muslim women. At the time, six attacks had been reported since December 2020, three of which occurred on Edmonton transit property.

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‘Crime wave’

Unions representing peace officers that patrol the transit system have raised concerns about a “crime wave” on transit, the city’s ability to provide safety and security and claiming more support is needed from Edmonton police.

Most recently, city councillors were told that a new bystander awareness program, expanded outreach teams, and upgraded CCTV are all part of moves by city transit planners to improve safety this year.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said during the committee meeting on March 23 that transit should be a “delightful experience” for everyone, but Edmonton can’t solve the underlying social issues behind the problems unless the province steps up.

Mike Ellis, associate minister of mental health and addiction, disagreed, saying the province has been investing in treatment and recovery options and providing police with tools to connect people with help.

Sohi said the city is doing what it can to address the issue.

“I am absolutely committed to making our transit system the safest possible, and reliable, and the fastest, and convenient, and easy to use, and make sure that people use it and feel safe and delighted to use it,” he said.

— With files from Lauren Boothby

ajunker@postmedia.com


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