23 Sep 2021

Auckland bus driver assaulted twice in a month

2:40 pm on 23 September 2021

An Auckland bus driver who was left with serious injuries after being attacked last night had also been the victim of another assault last month.

A file photo shows the interior of a bus.

Photo: 123RF

Police have arrested and charged a man following the "violent and unprovoked attack" on the bus driver in Waterview last night.

Detective Senior Sergeant Phil Cox said police were called at about 10.20pm to Great North Road after reports a passenger on the bus had started attacking the driver.

The driver was dragged from his seat into the aisle and hit multiple times. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition and is now in a serious but stable condition.

While the attacker fled, police soon tracked him down and arrested him. The 27-year-old man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife in a public place.

He is due to appear in court today.

Detective Senior Sergeant Cox says it was an "appalling act of violence on one of the community's essential workers, who was just going about their job".

"This was completely unacceptable."

Cox said it was the second time the victim had been attacked while working in the past month, after he was assaulted on Railside Avenue in Henderson on 29 August. Three youths had been referred to Youth Aid over that attack.

Cox said police will be further increasing their patrols and visibility on and around buses to ensure the safety of drivers.

Between 1 August 1 and 17 September, there were 35 reported incidents involving abuse or aggression towards Auckland's bus drivers - despite low patronage due to Alert Level 4.

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