Elk Valley RCMP has not found any evidence of a man assaulting a child on a BC Transit bus on Monday.
Investigations revealed the man arrested for assaulting and taking pictures of a five-year-old girl was instead on a video call with family and accidentally hit the girl’s hand.
Police officials said BC Transit had no video footage of the alleged incident, with no other supporting evidence from parents, guardians, the child or other child witnesses found in interviews.
In the original allegation, the man was said to have grabbed the young girl’s arm and taken her picture while on a bus between Sparwood and Fernie.
Police said this turned out to be false, as several witnesses, including the five-year-old girl in question, said the man was talking with his family on FaceTime about his daily routine.
“The man had contact with the young girl on the hand during this conversation, with no intent of harm or risk to the child,” said Elk Valley RCMP. “An independent witness observed the man use his phone to find a glove for the child, who then shook his hand to thank him. The child reported seeing the family member on the cell phone. Other witnesses support this information and it is consistent across all interviews.”
Police officials said a constable who was able to speak the same language as the man was brought back in to update him on what was going on and that his conditions were removed.
“To repeat, the man involved has been cleared of any offence. Immigration officials were advised of the file and recognized the man is in Canada legally on a work permit. BC Transit was informed of this update as well,” said Elk Valley RCMP.