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Two TTC operators assaulted in ‘despicable swarming’ attack by youths


Two TTC employees were attacked by a large group of youths on a Scarborough bus Monday afternoon in what the transit agency described as a “despicable swarming.”

Toronto police received a call at 3:35 p.m. about a group of 10-15 youths in an altercation on a bus near Kennedy and Merrian Roads, just south of Kennedy Station. As a result of the altercation, two uniformed TTC employees were assaulted, said Const. Laura Brabant.

The group fled the scene, police said, and the TTC employees’ injuries were determined to be non-life threatening.

The bus operator was about to make a driver change when the incident occurred, said Brabant.

Police investigators and TTC special constables were interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage Monday evening to get a better idea of what transpired, she said.

The TTC confirmed the incident Monday evening.

“We will, as always, give police our full co-operation and any video we have. Attacks on transit employees are covered under a special provision of the Criminal Code,” the agency tweeted.

Mayor John Tory put out a call for witnesses of the alleged assault, which came less than 48 hours after a TTC bus driver was shot with a BB gun in Scarborough on Saturday.

“We have to put an end to these acts of violence and disrespect against transit workers,” tweeted Tory.

He also referred to another swarming incident last month where a group of girls allegedly murdered a homeless man near Union Station.

“I am also very concerned about the increasing number of criminal acts involving young people. I strongly believe this is something all governments have to work together to urgently address with social and mental health experts,” Tory said.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents TTC workers, said: “Transit workers should not have to go to work in fear of their lives.

“These attacks leave long-term psychological impacts that remain with our members much after their physical wounds have healed. This continued pattern of criminal behaviour cannot, and will not, be tolerated. There must be accountability.”

“Our members are disgusted with the repeated and escalated acts of violence against transit workers,” said ATU Local 113 president Marvin Alfred.

Marco Chown Oved is a Toronto-based reporter covering climate change for the Star. Reach him via email: moved@thestar.ca

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