Penticton & South Okanagan News
An altercation aboard a Greyhound bus in Penticton has led to the suspension of the driver and accusations of assault.
Greyhound company spokesperson, Maureen Richmond, confirmed an incident took place Saturday aboard a bus traveling from Vancouver to Calgary.
Richmond says the bus had stopped for a scheduled 10-minute break in Penticton.
"As the schedule was about to leave the driver noted that one person was missing from the bus. He sounded the horn and went to find the passenger," says Richmond in a company statement.
"As the passenger began to board he began a verbal altercation with the driver. The driver felt threatened and ordered the passenger off the coach."
The passenger refused to leave, prompting the driver to attempt to physically remove the man, according to Richmond.
When the passenger refused to exit, the driver continued on his way to Kelowna with the man on board.
"Based on the driver's statements, the passenger was not permitted to continue to Calgary."
Richmond says the driver has been suspended pending the outcome of a company investigation.
RCMP in Kelowna are also conducting an investigation after the passenger filed a complaint with police.
Cst. Kris Clark confirmed the incident took place in Penticton, however, the complaint was filed in Kelowna.
Clark says there were no injuries reported.
According to Richmond, the driver has been with Greyhound since 2002 and has never received a passenger complaint during that time.
"He is a well-regarded employee with a good record," says Richmond.
Aaron Broesky, who says he was on the bus at the time of the incident, says Greyhound has talked down the incident quite a bit.
In an email to Castanet News, Broesky says he witnessed the events and provided a statement to police in Kelowna.
According to Broesky, the driver started to drive away from the Penticton terminal and, after a few minutes of yelling very loudly at the passenger, who was reacting very calmly in the front seat, he slammed on the brakes in the middle of the road.
He says the passengers in the bus were sent into the seats in front of them, putting everyone at risk.
"After the bus stopped, he (driver) got up out of his seat, went over to the man sitting down, hit him in the face and continued to yell very loud."
"There was no polite request for the man to leave the bus and no reason for his to do so either. The driver then continued on to Kelowna, yelling non-stop for the entire trip, making everyone very uncomfortable."
Broesky concluded that someone capable of purposely putting the lives of all who are under his care at risk should not be allowed to drive a commercial passenger vehicle.
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