3rd person arrested in STM bus driver attack

Montreal police have arrested a third suspect in connection with the early Wednesday morning attack on an STM bus driver that put the man, 36, in hospital with head injuries.

Pair charged with aggravated assault, third man faces charges

A security tape from the bus shows the three suspects entering at around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. (CBC)

Montreal police have arrested a third suspect in connection with the early Wednesday morning attack on an STM bus driver.

Police constable Dany Lacoursière said the man was arrested at around 6 p.m. Thursday.

"After raiding his apartment in Montreal North, the 20-year-old suspect showed up on the scene," Lacoursière said. "He was arrested and brought to the operational centre, where he will be meeting with investigators later on tonight."

The man is expected to be charged with aggravated assault and breach of conditions when he appears in court on Friday.

Two others charged

Two other suspects in the attack were charged earlier Thursday with one count each of aggravated assault.

A 17-year-old appeared in youth court.  Jeffrey St. Cloud, 20, was held overnight at the request of the Crown prosecutor, to await a bail hearing Friday. 

The bus driver, 36, remains in hospital with head injuries; his condition is described as stable.

Security video brought in tips

The bus's security tape showed two young men and a youth boarding the 363 night bus on St-Laurent Boulevard at Fairmount Street just after 2 a.m. on April 24.

An argument broke out between one of the three and the bus driver, and the trio moved to the back of the bus.

Minutes later, when the bus arrived at Jean-Talon Street, the passengers came back up to the front of the bus and, before exiting, said something to the driver, dropped garbage on the floor of the bus, and each in turn spat at the driver before disembarking.

The video, which has been seen more than 22,000 times on YouTube since being released yesterday by Montreal police, is cut off at that point, presumably just before the alleged attack.

Const. Raphael Bergeron of the Montreal police said earlier on Thursday that releasing the video brought in tips from the public.

One of the suspects turned himself in after the video was released online.

"The other one was found because of information given by the public," said another police spokesman, Const. Simon Delorme.

"They were arrested in two different places due to the information that we received from the public and due to the investigative work of the Montreal investigators," Bergeron said.

Union calls for stiffer penalties

Tom Mouhteros, a representative with the union which represents STM bus drivers, is calling for stiffer penalties for people who assault bus drivers.

"If you attack a driver, you're putting the 40 or the 50 people, depending on the  rush hour, that are on the bus (in peril), Mouhteros said. "Just like a pilot is in charge of an airplane, the bus driver also has passengers."

 Alexandre Boulerice, the NDP Member of Parliament for Rosemont—La-Petite-Patrie, called for strong measures to protect workers such as bus drivers during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday.

He said the alleged assault should serve as a reminder that many Canadian workers face dangerous situations in their daily activities.