Gold Coast bus attack: two women leave elderly man 'upset and shaken'

Two women captured on film abusing a 77-year-old bus passenger have been charged with serious assault.

The women, aged 17 and 21, handed themselves in to Gold Coast police on Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after footage of the violent attacked surfaced.

The women are seen in the amateur footage verbally and physically abusing the 77-year-old man as the Surfside bus travelled through Kirra on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Tuesday afternoon.

‘‘Oh bro we're in Abo land,’’ one of the women is heard saying.

The women also allegedly abused a female passenger, who was standing with a pram.


It is understood the pair, from Chinderah and Terranora in northern New South Wales, had spent the day at the Murwillumbah races.

The 17-year-old handed herself in to police about 2pm on Friday, while the 21-year-old fronted Southport police station about 3.30pm.

Both women have been charged with one count each of serious assault and public nuisance and will spend the night in the Southport Watchhouse, before facing Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday.

The incident, which was filmed by a 13-year-old girl, ended only after a male passenger intervened and forced the women off the bus.

Police did not receive any complaints about the incident until Channel 9 aired the footage on Thursday night.

By Friday morning, the women’s names were circulating on social media.

“We did receive a lot of calls from the public,” Gold Coast District Acting Superintendent Brian Swan said.

The 77-year-old victim from West Tweed Heads also contacted police on Friday morning.

“He’s suffered some bruising on his arms and as you can imagine he is quite upset and shaken by the incident,” Acting Superintendent Swan said.

“If anyone views that footage, you’d find it disturbing and I think quite abhorrent really, that sort of behaviour, particularly in a public place. I don’t think anyone would find that level of behaviour acceptable.”

Although the women hurled racial abuse at the man, Acting Superintendent Swan said the victim was not indigenous.

“The victim actually doesn’t identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander,” he said. “However it is concerning that the alleged [attackers] perceived that he was.”

Acting Superintendent Swan also corrected earlier reports that the victim was vision-impaired, saying that his glasses had been knocked off during the scuffle, making it hard for him to see.

He said police had spoken with Surfside Buses about the bus driver.

“They are satisfied with the actions of the bus driver,” he said.

“From what I’ve been told, he’s acted appropriately in compliance with their policy ... we have no criticism of his actions.”

It’s not the first time mobile phone footage of bad behaviour on buses has gone viral.

In June, NSW Police charged a 55-year-old woman after she was caught on camera racially vilifying an Asian schoolboy on a bus in Burwood in April.

Another video shows a pregnant woman being called a "fat slut" after she asked a Perth train passenger to move her bags so she could sit down.

In November 2012, a French woman on a Melbourne bus was told to "speak English or die" by a man who also threatened to cut her breasts off.

All three videos were posted on YouTube and triggered a backlash on social media. 

- with AAP