November 27, 2013 - 5:24 PM
KAMLOOPS - The story behind the video of drama on a Kamloops bus last year had everything to do with claustrophobia and poor customer service, an accused man said in court today.
Bradley Derek Smith is charged with assault and mischief following an incident on a public city transit bus in Kamloops, Dec. 4. 2012. The charges came after a YouTube video called 'Kamloops B.C. Transit Driver Kidnaps Passengers' showed up online, showing two passengers — one of which is Smith — accusing the driver of purposefully missing a requested stop and locking them on the bus.
Smith is representing himself during his trial in Kamloops provincial court and testified today on his own behalf.
The bus driver, Robert Aube, testified yesterday and told the court he was kicked and threatened by Smith.
Today Smith recounted his version of the incident and denied kicking Aube. He said the day of the incident was just a 'normal day' on his way to work from his north Kamloops rental property. His landlord's daughter was also aboard the bus. He said she pulled the bus stop cord and was ignored by the driver.
He testified he then went to confront the driver about it 'politely' but said he had an issue with her a couple weeks before, and he would let her off when he looped around.
"I work in customer service, and I'm like, 'this really doesn't add up to me,'" Smith said. "I want to at least document this so I can let someone know this happened."
He revisited the driver at the front of the bus, he said, but this time he recorded what happened with a tablet computer.
"I really wanted to be able to identify that bus," he said.
Smith said the driver then stopped at a short time later and turned off the bus engine before walking to them at back of the bus. He took photos of the woman with his phone, Smith said.
"He said, 'well if he can take my photo, I can take your photo,'" Smith said.
He said the woman hit the phone out of his hands, screaming, and stepped on it. They both brushed past him.
"It's at that point that I go and shake the doors," he said. "Normally, you can just push the lever and it will open, these doors wouldn't open for me."
He said he panicked and felt uncomfortable and made multiple requests to be let off the bus as he tried to do it himself.
"I was very defensive for myself. I felt like I was in a very bad situation," he said, telling the court he is claustrophobic. "I have issues with being trapped."
During cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan asked him about the video. Smith said he used 'layman's terms' when he accused the driver of 'kidnapping.'
An investigation into the driver was prompted by B.C. Transit and the driver's employer, and no charges were laid against Aube.
"I felt we were being held against our will, absolutely," Smith said.
Smith said he was shocked when charges were laid on him. Flanagan suggested he got involved in a situation that got out of hand, then posted the video online in attempt to save face after assaulting the driver.
"You decided in this instance the best defence would be a very aggressive offence," he said.
Judgement is expected Friday afternoon.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013