'Punched me in the face': Transit passenger assault allegedly began over a bus transfer
Jon Hendricks, CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, February 11, 2016 3:50PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, February 11, 2016 8:55PM CST
A 51-year-old transit driver has been charged after allegedly assaulting a young mother on board a bus.
"She said, ‘I feel sorry for your son.’ And I was like, ‘what, you feel sorry for my son?’ And then she punched me in the face," Callie Fawcett, 17, told CTV News on Thursday.
Fawcett said the confrontation was all over a transfer; she forgot to ask for one when she got on the bus because her infant son was crying.
She said when she went up to ask for a transfer later, the driver refused. Fawcett accused her of racism; that's when the driver ordered her off the bus.
But things escalated before she could leave.
"She punched me in the face," said Fawcett. “Then I grabbed her glasses and grabbed her face and whatever happened after that."'
Fawcett said the driver's glasses fell off during the altercation.
“So I looked on the ground and picked them up for her,” said Fawcett. "Like I'm nice enough to even pick them up for her.”
When the young mother and her son got off the bus, she called 311.
Fawcett said she decided it wasn't necessary to call police about the incident; however, officers said they did receive a report – from the driver.
The woman claimed Fawcett had assaulted her.
Police then met with the passenger, who explained her version of the event and said she struck the driver back in self-defence.
To help her case, the entire encounter was caught on camera.
"Sometimes video doesn't tell the whole story," said Winnipeg police Const. Eric Hofley."But I believe in this incident, it played a crucial role."
The Winnipeg Transit driver was arrested, and later released on a promise to appear.
She's now facing charges of assault and public mischief. Hofley said the latter charge stems from starting a police investigation that wasn’t completely truthful.
Fawcett wasn't seriously injured and said she's glad this has ended in her favour, even if the bus ride didn't.
Fawcett said after leaving the bus, she had to walk to her final destination.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact investigators at 204-986-2877 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.
Police then met with the 17-year-old passenger (above), who advised the physical altercation was started by the driver.