Transit driver, rider clash after frustrations boil over
Man charged in Winnipeg Transit assault explains bus altercation that lead to assault charges
A man accused of assaulting a Winnipeg Transit driver has been formally charged.
Lawrence Ovid spoke to CBC News before turning himself in, saying he acted regrettably in a very frustrating situation.
Winnipeg police circulated two photos of Ovid earlier this month, saying he was wanted for questioning in connection with an assault and robbery on a Winnipeg Transit bus.
According to police, the incident happened on a bus on Dec. 6, 2013, in the downtown area of Graham Avenue and Donald Street.
Police alleged a man on the bus threatened the driver then stole some personal property before running away. Their release said the suspect dropped the stolen property soon after and it was recovered by police.
But Ovid came forward to CBC this week, saying he wanted to tell his side of the story before turning himself in.
Ovid said he got frustrated when the same driver zoomed past him three times before Ovid managed to get on.
Ovid was using a different bus to catch up to the route he needed each time.
When he was finally able to get on the bus, he said he was freezing and confronted the driver about why he wouldn’t pick him up.
“I told him, ‘It’s a very small city for an attitude like that,’” said Ovid.
He said he tried to take a picture of the driver to report him to transit authorities and that’s when things got heated.
The incident ended in Ovid trying to take the glasses off of the driver. He tossed them onto the floor of the bus before running away.
Transit driver Tim Stones (who was not the driver involved in the incident) said drivers face abuse every day, and Winnipeg Transit has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse.
“You go to work and hope you make it home unscathed at the end of the day,” he said.
Stones has been assaulted three times while working.
“A guy shook up a can of pop and sprayed it at the side of my head. Another lady emptied the contents of her water bottle in my ear,” he said.
As for Ovid, he alleged the bus driver involved insulted him, but the cameras on board the bus don't capture audio, so there is no way to verify those claims.
He said he regrets the incident, and the release of his photo has ruined his life.
“It’s not good. Not good,” said Ovid.
Ovid has since turned himself in and has been formally charged.
Representatives from Winnipeg Transit declined to comment.