Friday 5 June, 2020

JUTC driver's face slashed 'after telling passenger to close window'

A driver for the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is nursing knife wounds after he was allegedly violently attacked by a passenger in Half-Way Tree, St. Andrew on Tuesday morning.

According to the JUTC, sometime after 9:00 am, a passenger boarded a bus inside the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre and soon thereafter began complaining that the bus was too cold.

He reportedly proceeded to open a window when he was told by the driver that it would affect the air conditioning and that the window must be kept closed.

The passenger reportedly demanded back his fare and soon thereafter approached the driver who was preparing to return the money. It was at this time that the passenger allegedly attacked the driver, slashing him in the face.

The attacker reportedly ran from the vehicle but was pursued by the driver who eventually held him along Eastwood Park Road where the police intervened and accosted the man.

Managing Director of the JUTC, Paul Abrahams, along with other senior managers visited the hospital where the driver is being treated to ensure he is given the best care possible.

“The JUTC condemns the wanton attacks on drivers who are providing an essential service to law abiding Jamaicans,” Abrahams said a release.

He appealed for calm from fellow drivers who had suspended their service for an hour in a show of solidarity as they vented their disapproval over the incident. The drivers have since resumed their duties.

Meanwhile, Cecil Thoms, the JUTC’s Corporate Communications Manager, said the development comes on the heels of a similar incident earlier this month in which another driver was stabbed multiple times in the Half-Way Tree area.

“These incidents are very concerning and we hope that this does not become a trend. We are appealing to passengers to not tamper with any part of the bus and to generally abide by the company’s rules, and wish our driver a speedy recovery,” Thoms said.

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