Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GO Bus beating

Of course of all the days to experience a gong show of flying fists, it would happen on a day where I just spent 10 minutes trying to convince a woman who'd never taken the GO bus before how great it is.

Sheila, I swear, what happened last night was not the norm.

At some point, as the bus traveled through Oshawa's downtown, a man got on and reclined his seat and promptly pissed off the man behind him, who punched this guy's seat a few times and told him to "bring it back up" coupled with your garden variety expletives.

Reclining seat guy said a few choice words in reply but put his seat back to the upright position.

The bus motors along and reclining seat guy gets up after signaling his stop.

This is when it got crazy. Both men were seated in the seats behind myself and Sheila the bus newbie.

The guy who took offense to the seat being reclined lunges out of his seat, grabs the guy getting off by his jacket and starts screaming at him, accusing him of slamming his backpack into his face. Then he starts punching the man in the head. The bus driver throws on the interior lights and pulls over. The man being punched manages to break free and bolts for the front of the bus and jumps off.

Everyone on the bus, including myself, are shocked by what we just witnessed. Sheila is terrified.

The man throwing the punches settles back into his seat and resumes listening to his music. He acts like nothing happened.

Sheila got off at the Oshawa-Courtice border and swore she would never ride the bus again. It was just too scary.

The man was reported to Transit Security by me in a discussion on Twitter and it's unfortunate this incident happened, but it could have happened anywhere.

I'm hoping Sheila gives the bus another chance.


Squiggles said...

It's official. We have reached the pinnacle of polite/courteous/respectful behaviour in public and started to slid back into the behaviour acceptable in Medieval Europe.

Did anything happen to the Troglodyte that was punching? Even reported to Transit Security, he should have been escorted off the bus in some shiny, new bracelets.

C.J. Smith said...

I don't know what happened after I got off. The man who threw the punches was still on the bus.

These are tough calls. Calling the police would have delayed the whole bus and some of us just really want to get home. Does this justify his actions, no? But the guy he assaulted left.

It was pretty clear this man was mentally unstable which means all of us were targets and at risk.

The back of the GO bus is very isolated. Everyone left this guy alone - me included which you all know is unusual for me but I know when to keep my mouth shut.

Harith said...

Just imagine how this could have been another post about passive-aggressive sighing and huffing instead we get the other end of the spectrum with full-on aggressive. :P

C.J. Smith said...

^ Yep.

George said...

Date: November 20th, 2012 at 11:30 pm.
Location: Lakeshore Bus Route 92(IIRC) on Brock Road heading south for the Pickering GO Station.
Scene: Passenger wants the driver to turn left, go to Squires Beach Road and drop him off at the corner. Driver informs the gentleman that DRT will pick him up at the GO station and drop him off where he wants to go.
Result: Gentleman screams at driver, spits on him, throws a punch or two and then tries to grab the steering wheel. Driver valiantly fights him off while slowing the bus to a crawl. Lady beside me calls 911. Police appear wuite quickly and throw the dude off the bus and struggle with him on Brock Road.
Final Result: Gentleman taken away in handcuffs, receives a bloody nose and face, passengers cheer for the driver and the police.
I'd hate to be a bus driver. really I would.

ExGOnowTTC said...

What? Mentally unstable people on transit?

Anonymous said...

Folks, if you were assaulted without revocation then you have the right to defend yourself. Be prepared to use force to protect yourself.

Oh wait: R vs. David Chen!

Shiela said...

I am glad the bus driver didn't stop the bus and come to the back because I feel it would have made the situation worse.
I wasn't scared that it was the GO bus. I was scared by the situation. But I feel the lights should be on at night like they are with city buses.
It's too dark on the GO bus. Especially at the back.

Anonymous said...

Did the driver radio anyone about the incident, e.g. supervisor or Operations?

C.J. Smith said...

Being at the back, I was unable to gauge any actions the driver was taking - sorry.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, you could argue this type of person, while scary and undesirable, is performing a public service nevertheless.

It's the potential of someone going ape like this that keeps many people from pushing too hard against the boundaries of acceptable or inconsiderate behavior.