Demand to investigate assault by bus driver

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Monday, October 26, 2020, 12:58 In mid-October an appeal was filed with the Attorney General’s office against the decision by the Jerusalem Police to close a case against an Arab Egged bus driver. The complaint states that in early October, a driver of Egged Bus no. 9 in Jerusalem punched a yeshiva student and tried to throw him off the bus because he thought that the student was the friend of a man who banged on the doors of the bus from the outside and then spit in the direction of the driver. After the student insisted to the driver that he had no connection to the man, the driver cursed and assaulted him. Policemen summoned to the site by the student recorded the personal details of the driver and advised the student to file a complaint at the police station.
The student followed their advice and immediately went to the police station to file a complaint. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the police requested that the student file his complaint online, which he did. To his surprise, a short time later he received a notice that there would not be a criminal investigation. The student’s attorney clarified the matter with the Lev HaBira police station and was told that the police action report does not mention that the student was punched by the driver, only that he was pushed, and that the case was closed.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the student and assisting him with realizing his rights as a crime victim, filed an urgent appeal with the Attorney General’s office on the matter: “The complaint concerns a very serious incident in which a public bus driver violently assaulted a man with no justification. … In his complaint, the appellant detailed a serious assault which included punching, curses, and shoving. How can the complaint by the appellant be disregarded on the basis of the police report by the patrol policeman who received only preliminary information about the assault? How can such a serious case be closed without investigating the assailant?”
In conclusion, Bleicher demanded that “the police be ordered to open an investigative case and to bring the assailant to trial.”
Bleicher also lodged a complaint with the Egged bus company, in which he mentioned that the damage was particularly great due to his client’s existing condition: “The assault seriously injured my client being as a month and a half previously my client had suffered four fractures in his arms in an accident. Only at the beginning of the week were the casts removed from both of his arms. … I request that the violent driver be immediately suspended from his job as a bus driver in your company.” The company is currently processing the complaint.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “Such a violent assault on an innocent citizen by a bus driver, beyond the criminal severity of the act, indicates the level of danger which the driver poses to his passengers. It is likely that his actions stemmed from nationalist racism and therefore it is important that this incident be investigated and handled out of a concern that the driver will repeat his actions in a more extreme manner.”

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