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UPDATE: Some arrests in wake of Kelowna transit assaults

KELOWNA — Kelowna RCMP have made some arrests but continue to look for others wanted in connection with four assaults on transit drivers during the May long weekend.

Three of the assaults occurred on May 20.

The first one happened near the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Richter Street where a male passenger threatened the driver. Police are still looking for the man.

Also on Friday, police say another driver was assaulted by a passenger at the Queensway bus loop.

“Police have determined that the victim, a Kelowna City BC Transit bus driver, had been punched several times after refusing to allow the suspect to bring a bike onto the bus,” says says Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey.

The suspect has been identified as a 19-year-old Kelowna man. He’s due in court at a later date and is facing potential charges of assault.

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The third assault happened when a driver sent out a distress call at Orchard Park mall. Police say the driver had been peppered sprayed by three people. The trio was arrested on Springfield Road near Barlee Road.

“The three suspects, a 23-year-old man, a 24-year-old woman and a 22-year-old woman all of Kelowna, were later released and are expected to appear in Court on a later date. They face potential charges of assault with a weapon,” says Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey.

The fourth assault happened early Saturday morning when police say an unruly passenger forced his way onto a bus at the Queensway bus loop.

“The man was reportedly harassing towards the driver and other patrons until confronted by a passenger at which time he got off the bus,” says O’Donaghey. “The suspect is described as a First Nations male, approximately 25 years old, with long braided hair, of a stocky build, wearing a black shirt, jeans and a backpack.”

The suspect was gone when police arrived.

The union representing the transit drivers says it’s the worst case of attacks on bus drivers in Kelowna’s history.

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