Greater Sudbury Transit is looking into the assault of another one of its employees.

Transit Director Roger Sauve said it was a supervisor at the downtown terminal who was punched in the face by a passenger on Saturday morning.

The passenger had boarded the bus at the hospital, where security guards found him sleeping in the entrance way.

Sauve said this is an example of a situation that even increased security on buses wouldn't have prevented, and noted that transit officials are working with Sudbury police and other agencies on how to handle passengers with mental illness or others in need of help.

"There is a segment of society that will not be deterred, regardless of what you have in place,” Sauve said.

“And this seems to be one of those instances, that the cameras or barriers or any of that would not have been a deterrent."

After the passenger got on the bus at the hospital, he exposed himself to the driver and other passengers, Sauve explained. When the bus reached the downtown terminal, a transit supervisor tried to speak to the passenger about his behaviour. That was when the supervisor was punched in the face.

Meeting with hospital officials

The employee was back to work soon after, Sauve noted, and police were called to deal with the unruly passenger.

There are plans to meet with the hospital to find out what exactly happened, he added, “just to make sure that, if there's something we need to be aware of, that that information is shared so our inspectors and operators can address the situation appropriately."

Health Sciences North spokesman Dan Lessard said security found the man sleeping at the hospital entrance on Saturday morning.

They told him he couldn't sleep there and made sure he got onto the bus.

But Lessard said security didn't notice any kind of aggressive or threatening behaviour.

"We would never just put someone on the bus if we felt they were posing a threat to themselves or others.”

Lessard said the hospital is happy to meet with transit about the incident, but added he isn't sure what the security guards could have done differently.