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Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

A 59-year-old bus driver with BC Transit is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries following an assault at the bus transit station in Vernon Monday morning.

The driver pulled into the station on Aug. 19 at 8:45 a.m. and noted a man sitting on one of the benches smoking a cigarette. As there is no smoking in or around the transit station, the bus driver exited his bus to speak with the man. When the bus driver approached the man, he was grabbed and physically assaulted. The man then spat on a woman who attempted to intervene in the assault.

“Our officers arrived on scene within minutes and located the man a short distance away,” said Cpl Tania Finn, Media Relations Officer with the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP. “Police arrested him without further incident.”

A 24-year-old man from Vernon is currently in police custody. The bus driver was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police have interviewed a number of witnesses from the scene and the investigation continues.

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