WARNING: This post contains disturbing images and content.
I had a very unpleasant occurrence during my shift yesterday afternoon.
I was driving bus 103 I think, doing a #51 in-bound and had just pulled up at Moorabool St at about 3.45pm
There was a commotion next to the bus and I looked around to see a young man and young woman arguing loudly.
This suddenly erupted into a fight with fists flying and a great deal of swearing and abuse. There were at least a dozen passengers waiting in the interchange including old people, children and teenagers.
The fight was escalating and I immediately got out of the bus and approached the combatants.
Afraid that serious physical harm was about to happen I stepped between them and said "Cut it out, calm down, that's enough".(or words to that effect)
Being a big bloke I felt confident that they would separate and cease if I got between them and called for some sort of calm.
To my suprise and alarm, the young man, approx 19-20 I guessed, immediately turned his anger upon me and yelled "Who the #%$* are you &@#! ?
In the next instant he punched me right in the face. Hard.
He continued to yell and swear at me and in light of this I backed away.
He turned his attention back to the girl and they headed south up Moorabool St, continuing the conflict. He proceeded to hit her again and then to knock her down on the roadway at Little Malop St.
Meanwhile I had a blood nose which bled profusely from both nostrils and in fact continued to bleed for the next hour or so. I also sustained two fat lips and cuts to my upper and lower lips.
A couple of people approached me and asked if I was OK. A girl from the bakery brought me out some serviettes to help stem the bleeding.
I asked one of the kids standing there if there had been any security guards around and he said "No, they hadn't been there at all today".
This whole incident took about a minute.I was shaken and in pain and trying to stop the bleeding.I was concerned that the bloke was going to cause further harm but by then I was running late and had passengers waiting on my bus so I continued with my run, doing a 55 out.
I used my phone to call 000 and asked for the police to attend the scene. I don't know if they came to Moorabool St or not.
I gave them descriptions and details on the phone and indicated that I wanted to press charges for assault.
On my return to the city half an hour later I did not see any police at the interchange or in the mall, however, the young man and woman were both part of a group of young people in the mall. He looked at my bus and seemed to recognise me and to yell what sounded like abuse or threats in my direction.
I was concerned that he was going to cross the street and continue his threatening behaviour toward me but thankfully that did not occur.
I managed to take several pictures of him with my digital camera and one of these in particular gives a clear image of him.
There being no-one in despatch on a Sunday I did not report the incident to anyone else and did not want to broadcast the details on the radio and have other drivers become involved.
My mouth and nose are quite sore still, my nose is possibly broken. Fortunately today was a day off so I had some time to recuperate and the swelling to go down before I go back to work.
I don't know if the bus's security camera captured any of the incident as it happened outside the bus.
I know that people will say I should have stayed out of it and not gotten involved but I believe a reasonable person would have acted along similar lines. I could not stand by and watch a girl be beaten up by a violent thug. I acted instinctively and according to my morals and beliefs. I was shocked at the immediacy and ferocity of his response. I suspect that he was under the influence of some sort of substance as his behaviour was particularly aggressive and unpredictable.
Needless to say it was not the relaxing and pleasant Sunday afternoon I'd been hoping for.