Man charged in mischief investigation involving Toronto bus driver: police

Click to play video: 'Calls for more ‘real action, real resources’ following hateful TTC tirade'
Calls for more ‘real action, real resources’ following hateful TTC tirade
RELATED: Calls for more ‘real action, real resources’ following hateful TTC tirade – Sep 13, 2023

A man has been charged in connection with a mischief investigation in Toronto, police say.

Toronto police said on Sept. 6, at around 10:45 a.m., a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus driver was operating a bus in the Drewry Avenue and Bathurst Street area.

Officers said the driver stopped and was attempting to reposition the bus before allowing passengers on.

“While the doors on the bus were still closed, a man ran across the intersection and started to punch the bus and began yelling and swearing at the driver to open the doors,” police said in a news release. “The driver did not open the bus doors due to the man’s aggressive behaviour.”

Police said the man then began to record the interaction and stood in front of the bus.

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According to police, the driver let some people leave the bus, and the suspect allegedly entered the bus and “continued his behaviour.”

Officers said the driver told the other passengers that the bus was no longer in service.

Eventually the suspect exited the bus, police said.

Officers said on Tuesday, a 38-year-old man from Toronto was arrested and charged with mischief, intimidation and causing a disturbance.

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The accused is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Union, TTC react

In a statement Monday, Marvin Alfred, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 president said he was aware of video footage “documenting racist, misogynistic abuse directed at a member” of the union.

“Our member was just doing her job when she was verbally assaulted and threatened by a member of the public,” Alfred said.

“This is profoundly unacceptable. Our members are on the frontlines and they are entitled to the same standard of safety and security as all workers.”

Alfred said the member indicated to the union that it was a “troubling and unfortunate incident for her.”

“She feels that no one should be subjected to this criminal and offensive behaviour,” Alfred said. “She has requested respect of her privacy as she tries to move forward with her work as an operator.”

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Alfred said “no resources” were made available to the operator at the scene of the incident, adding the union is “deeply troubled by the lack of support shown by TTC management” to the operator.

In a statement emailed to Global News earlier on Tuesday, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said operators are in the field “performing a vital public service.”

“So to see one being subjected to this sort of vile abuse is appalling,” he said. “The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority at all times and we work closely with our Union partners to make sure employees are safe at all times while on the job.”

Green said after the incident, the TTC’s head of bus operations “was in direct contact with the operator as soon as he was made aware of the incident to express concern and support.”

According to Green, the operator has been offered “all available peer and counselling resources, if she wants or needs those.”

Green said there was another incident — an injury at Sheppard West Station — at the same time as the incident in North York, adding that “first response resources in the area deployed to that incident.”

“However, we continue to assess what we could have done differently to assist this operator during the incident,” he wrote.

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