A teen who verbally abused a bus driver while on probation for assaulting a different bus driver must perform 50 hours of community service work, a provincial court judge ordered Thursday.
The teen, who cannot be named because he is a young offender, was charged after an incident in May. He tried to catch a bus near his home in Rayleigh, but was late to the stop.
The bus was pulling away as the boy ran up and thinking it was not going to stop, he flashed the vehicle the middle finger, prosecutor Neil Flanagan told the court.
The bus driver did stop, however, to let the teen catch up. When the boy got on the bus, instead of being grateful, he started haranguing the driver with a slew of verbal abuse.
The bus driver quickly told the teen to get off the bus, as there was a mother and young child seated close by. The teen didn’t leave immediately. When he finally did exit, he spit on the bus as it drove away.
Flanagan suggested the teen’s behaviour demanded 14 days in jail.
“This is just the sort of offence that makes fair-minded members of the public think there can be only one appropriate outcome in this case — that he should be sent to jail. For him to behave the way he did while on probation for assaulting a bus driver, I am almost speechless, I can’t imagine.
“This is outrageous conduct that should result in a significant punishment.”
The details of the first assault, which occurred in November 2011, were not put before the court.
Judge Stella Frame asked the teen what his issue is with bus drivers.
“I don’t have any problems with bus drivers,” the teen replied. “It’s my attitude that kicks in. I think it’s the way I am addressed.”
Defence lawyer Tom Weiss noted his client has anger issues and is working to learn ways to cope with his temper.
Judge Frame accepted information in a youth worker’s report suggesting the teen is showing recent signs of improvement, and imposed community service instead of jail.