A former L.V. Rogers graduate is the person who is being hailed as a hero after coming to the aid of a young Richmond woman earlier this week on the Canada Line rapid transit system in Vancouver.
Jake Taylor, 21, rushed to the aid of Noor Fadel, 18, after the young Muslim woman was verbally assaulted by a middle-aged man.
“It was pretty autopilot,” Taylor told a Vancouver newspaper. “You see some smaller, younger person in danger, it was my initial reaction to help."
Fadel gave an account of her ordeal on Facebook.
She said got on the Canada Line at around 9:57 p.m. and sat a few seats away from a man on the train with a lot of people on.
“The moment I sat on the train this man got up and started to swear at me calling me a whore and a slut telling me he will kill me and all Muslims in a mix of Arabic and some other language I wasn’t understanding,” Fadel explained. “He was not Muslim.”
Fadel said the man raised his hand and began saying, “he was going to kill me.”
“I wanted to film him but I was afraid he was going to hit me.”
Fadel said everyone watched while the man, using horrific words, made aggressive actions and tried to grab her head and shove it to his crotch.
“I watched as others watched the man verbally assault me when out of nowhere he strikes me across the face,” Fadel said.
She said everyone watched as he did so except for one man.
“One guy just like me on his way home from work got up and pushed the guy away and stayed in front of me until the man got off at Vancouver City Centre,” Fadel said.
The man was Jake Taylor of Nelson.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said LVR teacher Michael Joyce, who taught Taylor and coached the 6’3”, 200-pound rugby player on the Bombers varsity squad.
“Jake has a big heart,” Joyce added. “He has Tourette’s and understands what it is like to be marginalized and picked on.”
Joyce said Taylor, who transfered to LVR from Salmo, was admired by teammates during his time with the Bombers.
"Jake was teased all of his life, but playing rugby, we could see his confidence grow," Joyce said. "The guys on the team just loved him."
Taylor has continued playing the sport, and currently is part of the Vancouver Rugby Club.
The man who assaulted Fadel, got off the Canada Line, but was later identified and arrested by Transit Police.
Taylor remained with Fadel until police and paramedics arrived on scene.
She is eternally grateful for her Knight in Shining Armour.
“Thank you to Jake Taylor for being the one person, once a stranger now a dear friend who stood up for me no matter for my appearance.”
And that doesn't surprise Joyce at all.
"Jake's a young kid, who always has a huge smile on his face and has a heart filled with kindness," said Joyce.