SBS Transit bus driver assaulted by commuter who was not wearing mask
SINGAPORE — An SBS Transit bus driver was assaulted by a male passenger who boarded the bus without wearing a mask on Tuesday (Sept 15).
SINGAPORE — An SBS Transit bus captain was assaulted by a male passenger who boarded the bus without wearing a mask on Tuesday (Sept 15).
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, SBS Transit said that the incident happened along Pasir Ris Drive 6 at about 2.45pm on bus service 21.
“The man boarded without a mask and only put it on after. He then started to hurl vulgarities at our bus captain and this continued all the way for two more bus stops,” the post read.
SBS Transit said that the police were alerted to the commotion and the driver pulled into a bus bay to wait for them to arrive.
At this point, the man grabbed the driver’s neck and collar for more than a minute and refused to let go despite the driver’s pleas to stop.
“Our bus captain could be seen cowering with his arms shielding his face as the man started punching him repeatedly on the head,” SBS Transit said.
The public transport operator said that three young men who were at the bus stop then rushed in and tackled the assailant before dragging him out of the bus to the bus stop.
They pinned the man to the ground before he was handcuffed and taken away by the police.
The police said that it received a call for assistance at about 2.48pm along Pasir Ris Drive 1 that day.
The 39-year-old driver was conscious when taken to Changi General Hospital and a 52-year-old man was later arrested for possession of offensive weapon and voluntarily causing hurt.
Police investigations are ongoing.
SBS Transit said that the bus driver was given three days of medical leave.
“We are thankful that he did not sustain any serious injuries. He is shaken but remains in good spirits.”
It added that the incident is not an isolated one and that several of its bus drivers have been abused in the last months for enforcing the use of masks as part of Covid-19 safety regulations.
Last month, another SBS Transit bus driver was threatened after he refused to let a man board the bus because he was wearing a neck gaiter instead of a face mask.
The bus driver was seen calling his company for help while the man used abusive language on him, saying that the driver's actions were racially motivated.
Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said then that there is no excuse for anyone to physically or verbally abuse bus drivers.
Expressing his appreciation for these drivers, Mr Ong added that they begin their days as early as 4am, ensuring that passengers get to schools, offices and errands "in a timely and safe manner".
"We may live in uncertain times due to Covid-19... The last thing we need on a bus is an uncooperative and abusive passenger.”
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