HSR driver accused of grabbing passenger’s hair says she was spat on
An HSR bus driver the city is investigating for allegedly grabbing a passenger by the hair has filed an assault complaint with police saying she was spat on.
Hamilton police spokesperson Const. Claus Wagner confirmed the driver called police to the scene near Concession and East 13th streets around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The driver, whose image has been shared widely online, complained a passenger spat on her. The driver told police she grabbed the passenger by the hair to keep her from getting away. The driver told police she let the woman’s hair go after “several seconds,” Wagner said. Police are investigating the spitting assault complaint but Wagner noted the passenger whose hair was allegedly pulled must also come forward. The city says it’s conducting an internal investigation into the matter.
The incident happened on Route 23 Upper Gage, where other passengers allege the driver was aggressive and swearing.
Sierra Johnson, who took the photo and posted it on Facebook, said the driver was upset because she and another passenger did not have the required photo ID to show with their bus passes.
After being told to put 30 cents in the fare box, Johnson alleges the driver yelled at her to “sit the (expletive) down.” When she called HSR to complain, Johnson alleges the driver yelled at her to get off the phone and in the heat of the moment missed a stop. The driver then stopped and got off the bus. That’s when the spitting and hair pulling allegedly happened.