HSR driver ac­cused of grab­bing pas­sen­ger’s hair says she was spat on

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

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.

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