The man who was the target of a racist rant aboard a Metro Vancouver bus Friday morning says he recorded the incident on video because he was afraid of what his verbal assailant might do.
"He was threatening my life," said Danilo Jr. Jimenez of the man who shouted racial slurs at him on TransLink's 123 bus in Burnaby as he made his way to work.
"I just think to make a video, because I'm afraid," Jimenez told CTV News Vancouver, recalling the incident. "What if he has a gun? What if he has a knife?"
The video begins with the man telling Jimenez to stop taking pictures and asking if Jimenez wants "a shot in the head." He goes on to shout multiple racial epithets at Jimenez before getting off the bus.
Jimenez said the incident left him shaking and shaken. He said he worries about getting on the bus again, for fear that the man might be on board.
"I'm a little scared for myself and for my family now," he said.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police are investigating the incident, and spokesperson Const. Mike Yake told CTV News they take situations of this type "extremely seriously."
"We investigate every incident as thoroughly as we can," Yake said. "We definitely, obviously, want to hold the individual accountable for spewing out these disgusting words."
Yake said the investigation is in its "very early stages," and added that transit police have no record of receiving a call or a notification about the bus's silent alarm going off at the time the incident was occurring.
He urged members of the public to call police as soon as they can when they witness racist abuse or other altercations on public transit.
"We want people, when they witness these types of incidents or when they are a victim of these types of incidents, to please contact us immediately, as quickly as possible, so our dispatchers can send police officers to the area right away," he said.
For his part, Jimenez said he was disappointed there wasn't more reaction to the incident from other passengers as it was unfolding.
A Filipino immigrant, he said he came to Canada to secure a better life for his family. He said he has avoided speaking out about racism he has witnessed in the past, but he doesn't want to stay silent about this incident because he feels like such situations are becoming more common, and they should not be tolerated.