Different versions of what happened on a TTC bus
TORONTO - A local woman is contemplating pressing private confinement charges against a city bus driver, alleging he refused to let people off a smoking transit vehicle after an aerosol can exploded.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), however, disputes the accusation.
Faye-Lize King, 66, heard a blast erupt from the back of the bus she was on around 9 p.m. Saturday and said she saw black smoke billowing out as the vehicle.
“Everybody panicked and they were like cattle — it was every person for themselves,” she said Monday.
“We all thought it was a bomb. There was another bus driver sitting at the front and he blocked the door and said, ‘You can’t get out. There’s nothing happening.’”
King said other passengers on the packed bus continued to push her towards the TTC employee.
“The driver not letting us out said, ‘You pushed me, this is TTC abuse,’” she said. “He kept yelling, ‘TTC abuse. You’re going to be arrested,’ and, ‘This is all on camera.’”
Meanwhile, King said a stroller containing the baby was knocked over and the child’s mother tried shielding the infant on the floor.
“These people, they just walked over her back, her arm was full of bruises,” King said, wiping away tears.
“Her jaw was hurt and this bus driver, he held us there. Two or three times I said, ‘Let us out.’ It was just horrendous.”
Toronto Police Staff-Sgt. Richard McKeown confirmed the infant was not harmed and a few people suffered minor injuries. No one required treatment at hospital.
A TTC spokesman offered a different version of the events.
“In this person’s duffel bag was an aerosol canister used to spray dust off your keyboard. For whatever reason the top broke off and made this loud bang on the bus,” TTC spokesman Brad Ross said.
“Meanwhile, in the front of the bus, we had another operator in uniform that was on the bus. There was a customer on the bus -- a woman who was being difficult prior to the incident. The bus pulled over and this woman, who was being difficult, began shaking the baby stroller and the child came out.”
Ross said as people charged to the front, the uniformed operator tried to keep people calm. There was no smoke, according to witnesses, he said.
“He wasn’t blocking the exits, he was trying to take charge of the situation so no one would trample this baby,” he said. “The matter is still being looked at by us and Toronto Police. We’ll be going through video surveillance tape (captured on the bus).”
TTC management is not considering any disciplinary action against the employees on the bus.