ParaTranspo riders want cameras on buses
Call for better security comes after ex-driver sentenced to 4 years for sexually assaulting passenger
ParaTranspo riders say the conviction of a former driver for raping a disabled passenger should be a wake up call to the city that cameras are needed on the buses.
Former ParaTranspo driver Victor Fuentes was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault.
Fuentes, a ParaTranspo bus driver for 12 years, admitted to raping a 26-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who was riding his bus in May last year.
Sue Clark-Wittenberg, a regular Para Transpo customer, said Feuntes had always treated her well. But outside the courtoom she called the crime shocking.
"This is a horrendous and heinous crime that should not have been committed by someone who has a trust of taking care of vulnerable people and taking them from point A to point B," she said.
Her husband, Steven Wittenberg, is also a ParaTranspo customer. He said he wants to see changes in the service to protect vulnerable passengers.
"I said to my wife there should be cameras on the buses. That's the only way we're going to change things," said Wittenberg.
Catherine Gardner, the former head of the city's accessibility advisory committee and a ParaTranspo user, said people using the service are very vulnerable, with some having a combination of physical and mental disabilities.
Gardner said she has advocated for cameras on the buses to not only protect the passengers but also protect the drivers from allegations of abuse.
"I've spoken to many of the drivers and many of them want the cameras," said Gardner. ParaTranspo taxis already have cameras installed, she said.
Fuentes will also be prohibited from having a weapon for ten years and his information will be entered into the national sex offender registry.