A woman arrested months ago for refusing to wear a mask aboard a Vancouver SkyTrain is facing $460 in fines after being “found guilty” Tuesday.
She will “have to pay all of her violation tickets,” says Transit Police Sgt. Clint Hampton. One is for not wearing a mask, another for belligerent behaviour.
Footage of the December incident was recorded by the passenger, herself, and posted to social media.
Const. Peter Kwok is seen asking her to wear a mask on the Canada Line train bound for Richmond. The woman refuses.
“I cannot wear a mask… I have a medical exemption card,” she tells Kwok.
“It isn’t valid anymore,” the officer responds, citing provincial health orders that mandate mask-wearing in indoor public spaces.
“Well that’s too bad,” the passenger is heard saying. Kwok proceeds to ask the woman to cover her mouth.
“Wow, that is ridiculous! I need healthy air exchange in my mouth,” she says.
Eventually, the officer explains he is going to place the woman under arrest.
“This is harassment,” the passenger yells.
“You’re so terrified of COVID yet you’re willing to put your hands on me.”
Kwok tries to escort the woman off of the SkyTrain but she resists arrest. It is then she allegedly kicked Kwok in the groin, according to Hampton.
Transit Police recommended charges following the incident, however, they were not approved by Crown counsel.
In November and December, officers issued 228 tickets to passengers who refused to wear masks.
Handing out tickets has led to Transit Police facing verbal and physical abuse in return, says Hampton.
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