A London mother said she was “mind blown,” after a man aboard an LTC bus sat down next to her and her son holding what appeared to be a glass meth pipe.
Amanda Charron and her seven-year-old were on their way home from Sunfest around 9 p.m. on Saturday. She says she tried to distract her son from the man, who she says started taking photos of the pipe.
“He made eye contact with me, and kind of laughed and walked to the back of the bus. And when he was back there, he started packing it with a white substance that he took out of a case that had smokes in it.”
Moments later, Charron said another woman on the bus rushed forward to tell the driver the individual was smoking the pipe.
“The bus driver pulled the bus to the side really fast, to go kick him off.”
That’s when Charron pulled out her phone and started filming. She didn’t think anyone would believe her when she described the incident, and she wanted footage of how the bus driver handled the situation.
London transit officials confirm a passenger was attempting to light a pipe at the back of the bus, and the driver asked the individual to leave after another passenger told him what was happening.
While Charron praises the driver for his handling of the situation, LTC general manager Kelly Paleczny says he should have reacted differently.
“We do suggest that operators don’t leave their seat to deal with a problem passenger, primarily because in doing so, they remove themselves from access to the radio and the covert alarm.”
Both of those tools are important if the situation were to escalate, Paleczny explained.
But Charron worries that handling the situation any differently may have made things worse, and she’s relieved he didn’t contact police.
“If he had done that, I feel it would have escalated so much. It was just four women and my child and one man on the bus, and he stood between me and two other women and my child, and this man, and made sure he got off right away.”
It’s unclear whether police responded to the situation. London police said it’s difficult to track the incident without the individual’s name, although in Charron’s Facebook post, she writes someone called police. Paleczny said the London Transit Commission did not contact police.
Paleczny added that a passenger’s first line of defence can be to alert the bus driver about another passenger’s behaviour, but that they can also call 911 if the activity is criminal.
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