Bus driver is left brain dead after he was beaten up for refusing to let group of passengers without masks get on board in France

  • Attackers tried to board the bus in Bayonne on Sunday night without masks 
  • The driver in his 50s was repeately punched in the head as he tried to stop them
  • One person has been arrested and other suspects are being sought, police say 

A bus driver in France was declared brain dead today after being attacked by several people he refused to let aboard because they were not wearing masks.

The alleged attackers tried to board a bus in Bayonne last night without tickets or masks, which are mandatory on public transport across France. 

When the driver, in his 50s, tried to prevent their entry he was repeatedly punched in an assault that left him with a serious head injury. 

A police source in Bayonne, near the Atlantic resort of Biarritz in southwestern France, said one person was in custody and other suspects were being sought. 

A bus driver was attacked in Bayonne after trying to stop passengers from boarding without wearing face masks (file photo) 

A police source in Bayonne, near the Atlantic resort of Biarritz in southwestern France, said one person was in custody and other suspects were being sought

The driver was unconscious when brought to hospital, and doctors declared him brain dead on Monday, the police source said.

Regional bus services were disrupted Monday after several of the driver’s colleagues refused to work in protest against the brutal attack. 

The bus company voiced support for the protest and said the impromptu strike was ‘completely legitimate’, French media said.

Another group of drivers walked to the hospital to show their support for the man, who is being treated in a grave condition.  

Fellow bus drivers said they were shocked but not surprised by the attack after a spate of assaults in recent days, according to Sud Ouest. 

The drivers said there had been ‘daily tensions’ with passengers in recent days and blamed a lack of security on public transport.  

Masks became compulsory on public transport as France edged out of lockdown in May and June.  

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