From Iceland — Bus Driver Attacked

Bus Driver Attacked

Published March 20, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Hörður Sveinsson

A bus driver was physically assaulted and called a “goddamned foreigner” by an unruly passenger over the weekend.

Vísir reports that Bessem Aref was driving his bus last weekend and stopped at Kringlumýrarbraut to let two men on. One of them did not have the full fare, and was asked to get off the bus.

At this point, the man without full fare was told to leave the bus, but another passenger began yelling at Bessem, calling him a “goddamned foreigner”, and punched him in the face. Bessem said he had to use “the left hand to steer and the right hand to keep him away from me.”

Other passengers on the bus began yelling at the attacker, and Bessem says some of them were recording the assault with their phones.

The bus was stopped at Kringlan, where the attacker was let out of the bus. Bessem says the attacker stood and waited for him to get out of the bus, wanting to fight. Bessem declined, opting instead to drive away.

Managing director of Strætó Reynir Jónsson says that management takes the matter “very seriously”, and that they are looking into possible courses of action. Amongst them would be setting up security cameras on the buses that would be continuously recording drivers, although Reynir admits this is an option they are reluctant to take.

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