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'It took forever for anybody to come and help us': Couple say they were assaulted on Halifax Transit bus

A Halifax couple is telling their story of an alleged assault that took place on a city transit bus.

It was a frightening bus ride home Wednesday night after a long day’s work for Kevin Bell and his wife.

“She had her hair ripped out, she’s got two big goose eggs on the side of her head. Took her to the hospital, she has a concussion,” says Bell.

The alleged incident took place just before 5 p.m. near Wyse Road and Albro Lake Road in Dartmouth.

Bell says a group of a dozen or so teens got on the bus and immediately became disrespectful, then violent.

“It took forever for anybody to come and help us. The police didn’t show up for a long time, no security from the bus station showed up,” Bell says. “One guy finally did, but what is he going to do against a mob of people?”

“We are not allowed to directly call the police,” explains Shane O’Leary, Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 508 president says.

O’Leary says Halifax Transit’s policy states a driver must call a supervisor to attend the scene.

That supervisor then determines if police need to be called.

“We do not agree with it. If I see somebody that’s getting hurt or a crime is being committed as a citizen, a tax-paying citizen, I am entitled to be able to call police. I should not have to call communications and explain to them so they can send a supervisor so I explain to them,” O’Leary says.

According to O’Leary, larger cities have police officers dedicated to their transit systems for operator and passenger safety. He says Halifax should follow suit.

“We’re getting to be a big city. We are no longer a small town.”

“It’s not the first time I’ve seen it. It’s getting worse and worse on our transit systems and we really need to have some security on them,” adds Bell.

He says his wife is home resting and recovering.

Halifax Regional Police confirm the matter is under investigation.

Meanwhile, a proposed transit safety bylaw is on the table. The city of Halifax will have a second reading of the bylaw on Aug. 22.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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