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Random transit attack leaves Calgary youth with serious injuries; police charge man in connection

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A 17-year-old Calgarian is concerned about safety in the city and on transit after he was randomly attacked while getting off a bus.

Jacob Giraldo Mejia was on his way to work at a downtown diner just before 9 a.m. on March 16 when he was assaulted by another passenger as they exited a city bus near 1st Street and 8th Avenue S.W.

Giraldo Mejia says he didn't even see the man behind him throw the punch that shattered his jaw.

"(It) was fractured in two areas," he said, adding he received surgery at Foothills hospital.

"I have four plates in my jaw."

The teen says he called 911 right away.

Calgary police say the bus driver also called, explaining witnesses saw the suspect board the eastbound LRT.

Police say this helped officers arrest the suspect minutes later.

Peter Wiebe, 25, was charged with assault causing bodily harm, obstruction of an officer and possession of government ID in another person's name.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police at 403-266-1234.

Giraldo Mejia says he kept to himself on the bus.

He says his attacker was a stranger.

"It could have happened to anyone," he said.

He says riding transit is the best way to get around, but he is hesitant to use it again.

His family moved here from Colombia decades ago because of the safety concerns due to unrest in that country, so his family was shocked this happened in Calgary.

"You just get assaulted and sent to hospital by a random person for nothing… and he's a kid… just disappointed, scared as well, a little bit," said his brother, Augustin Giraldo Mejia.

They think security measures should be beefed up.

"There could be a security officer on a bus or more security measures on transit," said another brother, Salomon Giraldo Mejia.

Jacob Geraldo Mejia, 17, far right, with his brothers Pablo, Agustin and Salomon and their parents Maria and Jorge.

His family is also concerned about what this could mean for his future.

While the teen seems to be recovering well, he says doctors have advised him not to do any schoolwork for about a month, to allow his brain to heal.

"It's supposed to be four weeks of school I have to completely miss because I can't use my brain, allegedly," he said.

While he understands the doctor's advice, the Grade 12 student at Western Canada High worries missing that much school might impact his plans to graduate and join the military.

"I was really hoping to graduate this year and now, it's a higher chance that I may not, which is unfortunate," he said.

Though he doesn't think he could have prevented this random attack, the teen says if he takes city transit again, he plans to be more aware of his surroundings, since he had been listening to music on headphones when he was hit from behind.

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