The University of Alberta International Students’ Association (ISA) is calling for greater safety measures at city LRT stations after a stabbing Saturday night.
Edmonton police said they received a call at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday about a stabbing at the University LRT station.
Police said it was reported to them that the victim boarded a train at Corona Station and exited at the University Station, where he was followed and verbally harassed by a man. The victim was then assaulted and stabbed in the arm by the man, who then fled the scene, according to police.
Police said the victim was treated at the scene by officers and a suspect was arrested a short time later near University Avenue and 114 Street.
The university’s International Students’ Association said the victim is a U of A student from China and is “doing well” following the attack.
The association said while the incident is shocking, it was not believed to be a hate crime.
“We cherish our diverse community and request that this incident shall not be seen as an attack on the Asian community at the U of A,” the association said in a statement. “As the representative of all international students at the U of A, the ISA can assure that our campuses are safe for international students.”
David Curocher, 30, has been charged with aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a weapon.
The association wants Edmonton police to have a greater presence at the city’s LRT stations and asked the university’s campus security to work more effectively with police to shorten response times if incidents do happen at LRT stations.
“International students are most dependent on public transit and thus as a city it is the responsibility of the local authorities to ensure that our public transit is safe to use,” the association said.
Earlier this year, the city said it was adding more security measures starting in late February in response to an increase of harassment, discrimination and crime at some transit centres.
Ten additional security guards were deployed to transit facilities “based on intelligence-led data,” who have been complimenting the team already monitoring the 19 LRT and transit stations.
“Security guards have direct access to the ETS Control Centre that can dispatch transit peace officers, or the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), if needed,” the city said.
The city said additional measures were also put in place:
- Proactive patrols on transit (EPS, community engagement teams, transit peace officers) to educate, liaise with support services
- Blue emergency phones in LRT stations and transit centres
- Push buttons on LRT cars
- New Transit Watch text message service — a discreet way to contact ETS Control Centre (text or call 780-442-4900)
- More than 3,900 surveillance cameras
— With files from Global News reporter Emily Mertz