An international student from China attending the University of Alberta in Canada was punched and stabbed by a man while exiting a train at University Station on April 24.
The assault occurred around 9:30 p.m., according to The Gateway
. The victim requested for his name to be withheld so that his parents in China wouldn’t worry.
- The suspect, identified by the Edmonton Police Services (EPS) as David Durocher, 30, allegedly followed the student on the train.
- Durocher allegedly verbally harassed and followed the victim when he exited the train onto the platform, Global News reported.
- The man then punched him in the face. Durocher pulled a knife and stabbed the victim in the arm before fleeing via the University Station escalators.
- Authorities arrested Durocher near University Avenue and 114 Street.
- The victim said he waited 15-20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive after using an emergency button to call for help.
- Durocher was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon x2 (knives and bear spray), EPS told NextShark.
No bystander intervention: The student said nobody near him came to help after Durocher left the scene. Bystanders allegedly prevented other passengers from helping, saying it was “his problem.”
- Gurbani Baweja, vice president of the International Students’ Association, said the student is doing “okay now,” adding the ISA and Students’ Union have reached out to the Dean of Students and International Student Services so he can receive the support for recovery.
- In a statement posted on Facebook, the ISA called the University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) to work with the EPS for a shorter response time.
- The victim said he did not feel safe using the transit system following the assault, reported CityNews Edmonton.
- “International students are most dependent on public transit and thus as a City, it is a responsibility of the local authorities to ensure that our public transit is safe to use,” the association added. “This incident also highlights the stronger need for EPS to be engaged on the Campus Security.”
Not a hate crime: The student said the attack was not racially motivated, a sentiment that ISA also mirrored in its statement.
- “We would like to clarify that this violent incident was not an Asian hate crime,” it reads. “At the university, we cherish our diverse community and request that this incident shall not be seen as an attack on the Asian community at the UofA.”
- The organization also reassured the university community that the campuses are “safe for international students.”
- “[The student] said it was just a random incident,” Baweja told The Gateway. “We don’t want people to perceive it in that sense because if there is any false information out there it will impact our Asian community.”
- University President Bill Flanagan called the incident “deeply concerning” and emphasized the “well being and safety” of students as “top priority,” in a statement to the university on Monday.
NextShark has reached out to the student for further comment. But in an update to a Facebook post, which was initially taken down, the victim thanked the public for the messages of support.
“I will update this case when I feel better about my mental and physical health,” he said.