Police hunt gang in bus bashing
Police are hunting for those involved in a violent bashing aboard a crowded NightRider bus in which a woman was left unconscious early Sunday morning. Nine News.PT0M28S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2sknd 620 349 August 26, 2013
Police are searching for a violent gang that viciously bashed a 26-year-old woman until she lost consciousness on a crowded NightRider bus in Melbourne’s city centre.
Victoria Police spokeswoman Anita Brens said the brutal attack happened on the late-night bus service, bound for Frankston, during the early hours of Sunday morning.
The bus was parked on Swanston Street about 2.30am when a group of six or seven men and two women boarded the packed bus and began acting aggressively.
A NightRider service. Photo: Shannon Morris/file photo
A number of concerned passengers, including a 26-year-old St Kilda woman, appealed for the bus driver to remove the offending group from the bus.
But before the driver could intervene, one of the women in the group approached the St Kilda woman, threw a drink on her and then punched her in the face.
Other members of the offending group then joined in the attack and dragged the woman to the ground, punching and kicking her in the head and body until she was unconscious.
The attack finally ended when the bus driver opened the bus doors and the group fled along Swanston Street towards Flinders Street.
Paramedics treated the 26-year-old woman at the scene and she was conveyed to hospital for treatment, where she remains in a stable condition.
The attack comes as Transport Safety Victoria announced last month that instances of alleged assault against bus drivers or other passengers in 2012-13 had increased 28 per cent on the previous year.
The majority of the 32 alleged assaults in 2012-13, which encompasess incidents on NightRider services, occurred in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
TSV director of bus safety Stephen Turner said recent violent incidents on Melbourne’s buses included an incident where a driver was threatened with a knife and one incident where a female passenger was hit on the head with a glass bottle.
The TSV has since released safety guidance materials, developed in conjuction with Victoria Police, to help drivers deal with threatening and potenially violent situations.
A spokeswoman for Transdev Melbourne, which operates 30 per cent of the city’s bus routes, said passenger safety on the company’s late night buses was boosted by CCTV technology and constant radio contact with bus drivers.
“Normally the buses are pretty safe and the drivers tend to reduce the likelihood of something happening,” she said.
“At any time, [drivers] can contact the control service and get the police out.”
Meanwhile, police have released a description of the female who instigated the Sunday morning assault.
She has been described as African in appearance, in her late teens or early 20s, tall, thin, with long straight hair that is dyed brown. She was wearing a tight-fitted black-and-white patterned dress.
The others in the group were also perceived to be of African appearance.
Detectives are urging anyone with information about the Frankston NightRider attack to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.