Woman arrested after racially-charged incident on TTC subway caught on camera
A 19-year-old woman has been charged with robbery after a video of a racially charged altercation on a TTC subway train began circulating online.
The now widely-shared video shows two women, one in a black T-shirt and one in pink scrubs, fighting in the aisle of a TTC train over a cellphone.
Marilyn Quijencio told CTV News Toronto that she was on the Line 1 train listening to music with a coworker on Saturday when a young woman and man approached them.
The Filipino-Canadians were both on their way to work at a nursing home.
“We didn’t even finish our conversation and this girl and a guy came close to us,” Quijencio said.
The woman then turned to Quijencio’s coworker and asked him for a cigarette and money.
When they were turned down, Quijencio said she asked the pair to leave them alone.
“I said, ‘Go and find work so that you have money.’ That’s what I said,” Quijencio said.
The woman then became “very aggravated,” she said.
Quijencio claims that during the confrontation, the suspect told her ‘you f*** immigrant, go back to China.”
At some point, Quijencio said she tried to change her music and held her phone up close to her face so she could see better.
Quijencio believes the young woman assumed she was filming her.
“When I stood up, that’s when she grabbed my cellphone out of my hand and ran away,” she said.
On the other side of the car, Margaret Anthony had taken out her phone and started filming.
In the video, the woman in the black T-shirt tries to run away from Quijencio toward where Anthony is sitting. When the two start to struggle over the cellphone, Anthony can be heard telling the woman in the black shirt to “stop assaulting” Quijencio.
“I just want her to delete the video,” the suspect says as she looks directly at the camera.
Anthony threatens to call the police just as the doors to the train open at Eglinton West Station. The suspect makes a run for it and Quijencio follows close behind.
“When she started running away, I didn't realize she had taken that person's phone,” Anthony, who is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, told CTV News Toronto. “So she snatched her phone and refused to give it up because when she was yelling ‘go back to China,’ she thought she was being filmed by the nurse in scrubs. That’s why she stole her phone to begin with.”
Quijencio said she tried to snatch the phone away but the woman was too strong.
“I could not do anything,” she said. “I ran after her, tried to catch her, but she ran faster than me. After that, I never saw her again.”
Toronto police say a suspect surrendered to authorities early Wednesday morning.
Tashia James, of no fixed address, has been charged with robbery and failure to comply with probation.
Police told Quijencio that the suspects ditched her phone when they couldn’t figure out the passcode.
But the phone is of no concern to her anymore.
Quijencio said she hopes for the best for the woman who attacked her.
“She has to learn from her mistake,” she said. “She should take a look at herself and where she comes from. She’s not a pure Canadian. She’s also an immigrant like me.”