August 20, 2019 8:52 pm
Updated: August 21, 2019 12:53 pm

Bus driver assaulted in Vernon released from hospital, suspect charged

Watch: A Vernon bus driver has been released from hospital after an assault at the city’s main downtown bus loop. While he is expected to make a full recovery, his union says this type of attack is happening all too often.

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A bus driver who was assaulted while on the job Monday morning has been released from hospital.

“We are expecting a full recovery physically. We never know how it is going to affect somebody mentally,” said Nathan Shire a representative for Unifor Local 114, which represents BC Transit drivers in Vernon.

READ MORE: New BC Transit bus route to travel Kelowna, Summerland, Penticton

RCMP said the assault happened Monday morning around 8:45 a.m. when the driver got out of his bus to talk to a smoker about the no-smoking policy at the bus loop.

Instead, police said the man with the cigarette grabbed the driver, assaulted him and spat on a woman who tried to intervene in the assault.

WATCH: (July 17, 2019) Hamilton GO bus driver speaks out after assault


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The 59-year-old driver’s injuries weren’t serious. He was taken to hospital and is now recovering at home.

READ MORE: Kelowna bus driver “beaten up pretty good,” assault that caused crash investigated

Meanwhile, RCMP said, a 24-year-old man arrested after the incident has since been charged with assault in connection with the case.

Police said he was released from custody on a number of conditions including requirements that he not contact the victim or go to the bus loop.

The union local representing BC Transit drivers in Vernon said assaults on drivers are too common.

READ MORE: Man arrested after bus driver assaulted in Vernon, RCMP investigating

“My initial reaction was not again,” said Shire.

“Unfortunately, it happens far more often then we would like to talk about.”

This incident follows a serious assault on a Kelowna bus driver in March.

In that incident, driver Peter Lansing suffered memory loss after he was attacked while behind the wheel of a bus.

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