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Five passengers pull HSR driver from bus and beat him

According to the Hamilton Spectator, a group of teenagers allegedly beat a Hamilton Street Railway bus driver over a fare dispute.

The Spec reports that the driver was operating the bus along the 41 Mohawk route last Friday evening, July 6. He stopped to pick up passengers at Mohawk Road West and Millbank Place, just east of Garth Street. A group of teenaged boys got on and a dispute ensued, says passenger Luke Grapentine.

“The first punch was thrown inside the bus and then they yanked him down off the bus and pulled him to the ground. There were five of them in total,” Grapentine said.

He and a couple other people jumped off the bus to try and pull the teens off the driver, he said. Police arrived quickly and the boys took off.

“I ride the bus a lot and I’ve never seen anything like that before”, Grapentine said.

Budh Dhillon, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Local 107, received a call from the driver Friday night informing him of the attack.

“He is injured and emotionally he is very hurt,” Dhillon said. “But physically he has nothing serious or lasting.”

He says the issue stems back to problems with the service.

“The assaults are ongoing. We filed a grievance against the employer on this; we believe the employer is not doing their diligence. The public is getting angry at the drivers because we don’t have a good service. When someone’s waiting too long, missing their connection, not arriving for work on time… all they see is the bus driver,” he said.

“They don’t know that we don’t make those decisions, we just drive.”