Bus drivers furious with delay in assault suspect’s court date
There was strong reaction today from bus drivers to a decision to put over a hearing involving a man charged with beating a bus driver.
23-year-old Brandon John Watterworth is charged with robbery and breach of recognizance in connection with an attack on a bus driver last February.
Witnesses say Watterworth boarded a bus at 168th Street and Fraser Highway, wearing headphones, rapping and swearing loudly.
The driver asked him to stop. When the bus arrived at the Surrey Central loop, police say Watterworth assaulted the driver three separate times; allegedly punching him in the face and stealing his glasses.
The driver, who was too traumatized to attend today, is furious there is yet another delay, due to Watterworth facing additional charges in an unrelated matter. He has a long criminal history including weapons offences and assaulting a police officer. The case has been put over until September 4, 2014.
The bus drivers’ union says the attacks are getting worse and more violent, and something needs to be done.
“To continue to put off the matter minimizes it across Canada,” says Nathan Woods, union president. “With over 2,000 assaults against drivers across Canada every year, something has to be done.”
The union previously voted against protective shields for drivers, but a trial program will roll out in the next six to seven weeks. Drivers don’t think the shields offer enough security.