Bus driver assaulted while attempting to get help for teen

Two teens injured a B.C. Transit driver Friday night after the young men objected to him seeking medical attention for their friend.

Two teens injured a B.C. Transit driver Friday night after the young men objected to him seeking medical attention for their intoxicated friend.

The driver called Saanich police dispatch around 9:20 p.m. Friday, concerned about the health of a 15-year-old female passenger who was apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

While officers were en route to the bus exchange on Elk Lake Drive, the dispatcher heard the sounds of a struggle in the background, and someone say, “Get off me.”

“When our officers arrived, they were met with one individual being restrained by another male, and as it turns out, that was the bus driver restraining a youth from the bus,” said Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

Investigating officers determined that two of the three young men took exception to the bus driver calling police with concerns about their friend’s health.

“That’s what led to the struggle. One young male tried to take the phone away physically from the driver,” Jantzen said. “When the driver essentially tried to defend himself, a second youth became involved in assaulting the driver, as well.”

Because of the ongoing job action by bus drivers, members of CAW 333, the driver was not in uniform at the time of the incident.

As a result, Jantzen said when officers arrived, they had “no idea one of the people involved was a bus driver. It just looked like two guys fighting. But that certainly doesn’t change how we respond to things.”

Meribeth Burton, spokeswoman for B.C. Transit says this incident highlights the safety issues that can arise when drivers aren’t in uniform.

“The uniform is a safety issue for B.C. Transit. It distinguishes our drivers from customers,” she said. “Take away that (safety) barrier and people might misunderstand community assistance and confuse it with interference.”

Ben Williams, president of CAW 333, says the safety of an employee at any company should not depend on whether or not they’re wearing a work clothes.

“There are lots of jobs out there where employees don’t wear uniforms. I don’t think anybody should be assaulted, on the job or not, regardless whether or not they’re in uniform or not,” Williams said.

The driver suffered minor injuries to his face and head, Jantzen said, and was transported to hospital. The 15-year-old passenger was also taken to hospital.

Two young men, a 17-year-old Victoria teen and an 18-year-old Saanich resident, now face charges of assault causing bodily harm.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Rolling the dice on the patina of old copper

At the Galleries: Summer days continue

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read