A Greyhound bus driver has been suspended and a RCMP investigation launched after a altercation with a passenger during a layover in Penticton.
According to Greyhound spokesperson Maureen Richmond, on March 23 a verbal altercation turned physical during a scheduled 10-minute stop at the Penticton station. Richmond said the driver was about to leave and noticed one passenger was missing so he sounded the horn and then went in to find the passenger.
“As the passenger started to board the bus he started a verbal altercation with the driver. The driver felt threatened based on the conversation and ordered him off the bus, but he refused to get off,” said Richmond. “The driver then tried to physically remove the passenger off the bus.”
Richmond said the driver felt threatened by the conversation with the passenger but continued on to Kelowna with the passenger on board. Once they arrived in Kelowna, the passenger was not permitted to continue on to his destination of Calgary. Richmond said the passenger contacted Greyhound and was issued a travel voucher to continue his journey and she believes he did so later that evening. The passenger also contacted Kelowna RCMP.
“We are doing a full investigation and assisting the police with theirs. The driver is suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” said Richmond.
The Greyhound spokesperson said the driver has been with the company since 2002 and has never had a passenger complaint or concern lodged against him up to this point. Richmond said Greyhound drivers have a prerogative to refuse service at any time, especially if there is concern for the drivers’ safety or others on the bus. Richmond added that Greyhound advises drivers that if a passenger doesn’t not comply with the order to leave the bus then the driver should contact authorities.