Toronto police are appealing to the public for help in identifying a man who allegedly assaulted a TTC streetcar driver last year.
On the afternoon of Oct. 28, an operator was trying to help a woman get onto a streetcar at the corner of College and Bay Streets when the man allegedly stole a bundle of transfers from the dispenser.
The driver was able to recover the transfers, but a verbal altercation with the man ensued.
According to police, he "became enraged and spat in the operator's face."
Some staff have PTSD because of assaults
Kevin Morton, secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, said assaults on drivers and other TTC staff have become an epidemic.
"We have people with post-traumatic stress disorder because they've been assaulted a few times," he said.
TTC statistics on reported assaults show that, between October and December 2017, there were 60 alleged assaults in which police attended the scene, Morton said.
He said verbal threats made against TTC staff and harassment are a major problem.
For example, Morton said a passenger twice threatened on the weekend to kill the same TTC bus driver. The threats were made on two consecutive days.
Meanwhile, the man wanted by police in connection to the October incident is described as being in his early to mid 30s, with a medium build. He was wearing a black jacket and blue jeans at the time of the alleged assault.
Anyone who may have information is asked to call Toronto police or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.