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'I'm going to rape you': Woman receives terrifying message on Metro Vancouver bus

Photo: Robyn Kimberly Dobson / Facebook

A woman says she is angry after receiving a threatening and disturbing message on her cell phone while riding a bus in Surrey. 

Robyn Kimberly Dobson writes in a Facebook post that she was got on a bus at the Newton Exchange in Surrey around 11 p.m. after having dinner at a friend's house. She adds that she's comfortable taking transit at night and does so often.

However, within minutes of sitting down, Dobson says she received an AirDrop image request. 

The image was black except for a short sentence in white that read: “I’m going to rape you."

Dobson notes that she declined the AirDrop request from “Justin's iPhone," and immediately decided she didn't want to get off at her usual stop that requires her to walk for ten minutes alone.

"I start thinking about who could be sending this and whether this is serious. Is this a joke? Who would actually think that this is funny?" asks Dobson. 

Dobson sent a screenshot of the AirDrop request to her friends and one of them said she would come to pick her up at a stop. However, a second AirDrop request with the same image came through shortly after. At this point, she says her heart rate increased and her palms got clammy.

"I look at my smart watch and my heart rate has jumped to 143. I try to locate all of the men on the bus to see who may be sending this. I couldn’t fathom that a woman would do something like this. There’s a man in front of me and he’s the only man in the front half of the bus. I remember seeing a lot of younger men at the back of the bus when I got on and I can hear them talking among each other. I receive the same AirDrop request for a third time. Is this a sick joke?"

Dobson contacted the Metro Vancouver Transit Police after receiving the third message. She adds that she watched as each man got off the bus, and was relieved when she was finally alone. 

Michael Yake, Media Relations Spokesperson for the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, tells Glacier Media in an email that the incident took place on Tuesday (July 14). 

Soon after the bus departed, he notes that Dobson received multiple “AirDrop” messages which contained extremely concerning sexual threats.

"At the time, there were approximately 15 other passengers onboard when she received the AirDrop," writes Yake. "The woman contacted the Metro Vancouver Transit Police via SMS text message and officers attended and spoke with the victim shortly after the incident. 

"The circumstances surrounding this incident is definitely unusual."

Yake notes the file has been passed onto transit police's General Investigation Unit and that they will be conducting a thorough investigation. They have since been in contact with the victim.

According to Apple, AirDrop may be used when the person you're sending to is nearby and within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range - and they don't have to be on your contacts list. That said, Apple notes that, "You can put your AirDrop receiving setting to Contacts Only or Receiving Off at any time to control who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop."

Transit Police are asking the public that if they have had a similar experience while using public transit that they please contact the Metro Vancouver Transit Police at 604-516-7419 or text us at 87-77-77.

Police add that circumstances surrounding this incident are extremely concerning. All members of the public have the right to use public transit without fear of assault or harassment. They strongly urge the public that if they come across a situation that makes feel uncomfortable that they immediately text the Metro Vancouver Transit Police at 87-77-77.