Woman threatened Winnipeg bus driver with syringe, grabbed steering wheel while bus was moving: police

(CTV News file image.)

A Winnipeg woman is facing charges after she allegedly threatened a bus driver with a syringe and grabbed the vehicle’s steering wheel, according to the Winnipeg Police Service.

At around 12:45 a.m. on June 1, Winnipeg police were called to Lakewood Boulevard and Vermillion Road due to a violent passenger on a transit bus.

Officers allege the passenger got on the bus at Osborne Street and Morley Avenue and appeared to be intoxicated.

Police say she began to agitate the other passengers and then made her way to the driver. She allegedly threw food at the driver and told him to drive faster. At this point, the police were called.

As the bus continued on the route, officers said the woman took out a syringe, took off the cap, pointed it at the driver, and threatened to stab him.

Police allege she then grabbed the steering wheel, causing the bus to swerve back and forth on the road.

Officers caught up to the bus at Main Street and Pioneer Avenue and took a 30-year-old woman into custody. She is facing charges of assault with a weapon, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and mischief under $5,000/obstruct enjoyment. None of the charges have been tested in court.

The suspect was released on an undertaking.

Police said the driver and the passengers were not hurt during the incident. 

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 said these types of incidents are becoming more and more common.

“We get notified of assaults of bus drivers on a weekly basis,” said James Van Gerwen, executive vice-president of the union. “This is actually the fourth time since January that a passenger has actually reached around the shield and grabbed the steering wheel. And that has become a serious issue that we're trying to address."