Humiliation left me livid’
A BUS driver, who was spat at and punched by youths in a daylight assault on board the bus he was driving, has handed in his resignation. He was just three weeks away from retirement. The 65-year-old Huntingdon and District Bus Company bus driver was left
A BUS driver, who was spat at and punched by youths in a daylight assault on board the bus he was driving, has handed in his resignation. He was just three weeks away from retirement.
The 65-year-old Huntingdon and District Bus Company bus driver was left with a black eye and bruises when he was assaulted by youths last Tuesday at 3pm. Despite his injuries, he carried on with his shift.
The driver, who fears more attacks if he is named, was driving the 554 bus from Huntingdon to Cambridge via St Ives. He made stops at Oxmoor and St Peter's School. Three youths boarded the bus at the Oxmoor stop and started to cause a disturbance on board.
This continued until the driver stopped the bus near Kings Hedges in St Ives and approached the youths, asking them to leave the bus. The youths refused and proceeded to surround the driver, jostling and pushing him. The driver was then spat at and punched.
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In an exclusive interview with The Hunts Post, the driver told of the ordeal he had suffered. He said: "I couldn't believe it when one of the youths spat violently in my face after I had asked them to leave the bus because they had been continuously ringing the bus bell. It was disgusting. It went all over my glasses and shirt and then they surrounded me and started pushing me. Then they punched me on the back of the neck, the side of my face and in my eye. Some of the passengers got off the bus, which made the youths run off. I was really angry but I managed to finish my shift even though my eye was really sore."
The bus driver, who is from Sawtry and has been working at the Huntingdon and District Bus Company since September 2000, was due to retire in June but after the assault he took the decision to leave the bus company today (Wednesday).
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"As soon as I got home that night, I drafted my resignation letter to quit my job, as I've just had enough. I've been assaulted before but it was some years ago when I was driving a bus in Peterborough - but this assault was humiliating and left me feeling livid.
"These thugs have left me with a black eye and bruising on my neck. The whole experience was absolutely horrible but I guess this is the sort of behaviour we have to put up with from certain sections of the youth of today. Nurses, shop assistants and policeman have to put up with this sort of abuse from yobs as that's just the sort of world we live in but I can't take it any more."
Victor Heath, who has been bus controller at Huntingdon and District Bus Company since 1967, said: "We have only had a few attacks on our bus drivers but they are normally always at night when people are drunk. Never have we had such an attack during the day. The other drivers were shocked when they heard about the assault and have all rallied round in support of the driver and are all very sad to see him leave."
A 16-year-old youth from Huntingdon appeared before Huntingdon Magistrates Court yesterday (Tuesday) charged with common assault and breaching Section 5 of The Public Order Act, which relates to abusive behaviour towards a police officer.
Police are appealing for information in tracking down two other youths. A police spokesperson said: "We understand there are two further people who may have been involved in the incident and we would urge them to come forward. We would also appeal to anyone who saw anything to contact us."
INFORMATION: Anyone with information should contact The Central Division Help Desk on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.