VANCOUVER – It appears there has been another attack on a bus driver in the Lower Mainland.
Vancouver Police have now arrested a 42-year-old woman, who is currently at St. Paul’s Hospital for a psychiatric assessment, after she allegedly punched a bus driver in the head on Tuesday.
Transit police spokesperson Anne Drennan said the incident occurred at about 12:15 p.m. on Hastings Street, near Gore Avenue, when the bus stopped to pick up passengers.
“There was a woman at the bus stop in a wheelchair,” said Drennan. “She apparently was very agitated, started hurling verbal abuse at the bus driver. It apparently was about another bus on that line, and its driver, but none the less she was very abusive.”
Drennan said the woman did get on the bus and then got off again, but the driver wanted to make sure she did not get on board.
“He was raising the wheelchair lift up when she suddenly launched herself out of her wheelchair and on to the bus and attacked the driver,” said Drennan. “She punched him in the side of the head and when he grabbed her to restrain her she tried to bite him.”
The driver, along with some others, managed to get her off the bus and Drennan said the woman then took off, on foot, with her wheelchair and disappeared down an alley.
“Some people in the area recognized her and the bus driver, who had decided to pursue her just to see where she was going, was told by these bystanders that she at times has a knife. So he thought better of it, came back to the bus and reported it,” added Drennan.
Police were called and several hours later the woman, who is known to police, was arrested at the Granville Street SkyTrain station.
Drennan said Transit police will be recommending charges of assault.
“The driver, traumatized by the incident, I mean who would anticipate that anybody in a wheelchair in particular would try to attack you,” she said, “but fortunately his physical injuries are not too serious. He was punched in the head so he has bruising on his face etc.”
This latest attack is just one of many recently and Drennan said it is a problem all over the Lower Mainland.
“This is something that is happening on all routes, all over the place,” said Drennan. “So it isn’t something that is just common to the Downtown Eastside.”
© Shaw Media, 2014