'Bus rage' erupts on Greyhound bus in northern Alta
Published Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:37PM MDT
Two brothers are calling for increased safety measures on Greyhound buses after a man threatened them with a knife and said he wanted to 'make news' out of them.
Josh and Andrew MacDougall were heading to Edmonton from Fort McMurray via a Greyhound bus Monday when a large man with tattoos boarded the bus.
Josh MacDougall said the man was staggering and acting very erratic.
He then allegedly approached them at the back of the bus with a knife and began making direct references to the murder of 22-year-old Tim McLean, who died last month after he was attacked and beheaded while riding a bus from Edmonton to Winnipeg.
"He said he's going to do a whole bunch of stuff to us, says he's going to cut our eyes out and he started stabbing and punching the seat," he said. "He said he's going to make news of us. He said he's going cut our heads off."
Andrew MacDougall then notified the driver of what was happening. Despite their concerns, the driver did not stop the bus.
"Me and my brother got up and tried to help him and the bus driver started freaking out at us, we didn't do anything," Josh MacDougall said.
The brothers said the man continued to harass other passengers for another hour.
After the man refused the driver's requests to get off the bus, the RCMP were called in to help.
The RCMP say they intercepted the bus as it was travelling south from Wandering River on Highway 63 after the driver called for help for "three intoxicated men."
The MacDougalls deny being drunk at the time.
When the bus came to a stop, the driver kicked the brothers off the bus. After conducting an investigation, the RCMP took both men to Boyle and found them a hotel room.
"After us going through that, he kicked us off in the middle of nowhere," he said. "We had to buy another ticket the next day."
A 30-year-old man from Cold Lake is facing several charges, including uttering threats and possession of a weapon.
Yet the two brothers say this close call shows how much safety needs to be improved on Greyhound buses.
Josh MacDougall said he'd like to see drivers carrying pepper spray or metal detectors in bus terminals.
"Obviously something should be done," he said. "That could've been an old lady or some kids or something."
Greyhound officials downplayed the calls for changes in security Thursday and said no rules were broken during the trip.
Company spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said the driver complied with Greyhound security protocol.
"Our drivers are trained that should a passenger become aggressive or unruly en route, that the driver is to pull over the coach and immediately call the local authorities which was done in this case," she said.
Greyhound officials said they will be performing an internal investigation into the incident.
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