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Kelowna suspects arrested for pepper spraying local bus driver

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May 24, 2016 - 12:15 PM

KELOWNA - Several people have been arrested and the search is on for one more suspect following a string of assaults on city bus drivers Friday.

Just before midnight on May 20, a Kelowna bus driver sent a distress signal from a stop at Orchard Park Shopping Centre. RCMP responded and found the driver had been pepper sprayed by three people.

Witnesses helped police track the suspects to Springfield Road near Barlee Road where they were arrested, according to a release from Const. Jesse O’Donaghey

The three suspects, a 23-year-old man, a 24-year-old woman and a 22-year-old woman, are all from Kelowna and were released. They face potential charges of assault with a weapon.

Another incident also occurred at the Queensway bus loop, where the bus driver was punched in the face just before 11 p.m. for refusing to allow a bicycle onto the bus. The 19-year-old suspect was held by a security officer and is now facing a potential charge of assault.

That afternoon a bus driver was assaulted near Harvey Avenue and Richter Street. The suspect uttered verbal threats before throwing a drink in the driver's face. Police are still searching for the suspect, who was last seen heading north on Richter Street. He is described as Caucasian, roughly 35 years old, wearing a tan shirt and carrying a backpack.

Just a few minutes after midnight, May 21, the fourth incident took place at the Queensway bus loop where an unruly passenger forced his way on to the bus and harrassed the driver and other patrons before getting off the bus. He is described as First Nations, roughly 25 years old, with long braided hair and a stocky build. He was wearing a black shirt, jeans and a backpack at the time of the incident.

Amalgamated Transit Union local 1722 president Scott Lovell called it the worst day of attacks on bus drivers in the history of the Kelowna Regional Transit System.

Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police are asked to call 250-762-3300 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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