Cyclist faces mischief, assault charges after allegedly attacking Montreal bus
Kyparissis Polyzoudis, 43, released on condition he not be allowed to own bike after apparent act of road rage
A 43-year-old man has been charged with mischief, uttering threats and assault with a weapon, after a city bus was vandalized in an apparent act of road rage.
Kyparissis Polyzoudis appeared in Montreal's municipal courthouse on Tuesday afternoon and was released on certain conditions — including not being allowed to own a bike.
The incident happened late Monday, just before midnight, at the intersection of Notre-Dame Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard in Old Montreal.
Police say it appears the man was angry because he perceived the bus to have been driving too close to him, and they allege he used his bicycle to strike the bus, while yelling threats at the driver.
The front window of the bus was partly shattered, struck in at least four spots with a hard object. The two side windows opposite the driver were also broken and the door was damaged.
Philippe Déry, a spokesperson with Montreal's public transportation agency, said the bus's side mirrors sustained "major damage, forcing us to take the bus out of service."
There were no passengers on the bus at the time of the incident because it was in transit, destined to service lines 129 and 33.
'I shouldn't have done that'
In an interview with Radio-Canada outside the courthouse Tuesday, Polyzoudis said he had been cycling the wrong way on Notre-Dame when the bus hit him, damaging his bicycle.
He said he then started banging on the bus windows with his bicycle and lock, exchanged words with the bus driver, who Polyzoudis says then threw water on him.
"I lost my temper. It was road rage," Polyzoudis said. "I shouldn't have done that."
He said he's unhappy about losing the right to own a bicycle.
Déry said the bus driver was left in a state of shock and was taken to hospital.
"Our bus drivers are trained professionals, and the safety and respect of all road users is at the centre of their work," he said. "We strongly condemn any form of aggression toward our employees."
'It happens far too often'
The president of the STM bus drivers' union says the bus driver is now out of the hospital and will take a few days or weeks off from work.
Renato Carlone says Montreal bus drivers regularly deal with this type of aggression.
"Unfortunately, it's far too often that bus drivers get abused either physically or verbally," Carlone said.
He says the driver told him the cyclist hit the bus with his bicycle and his lock.
"He sort of chased the driver outside. The driver was backing up, and he continued chasing him, banging on the window, and it wasn't a pleasant sight."
People need to have more respect and patience with each other in order to reduce these types of incidents, he said.
"If we can all be on board and share this road, there will be less aggressions," Carlone said. "It happens far too often."
Polyzoudis is expected back in court on Oct. 2.
With files from Kate McKenna