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The Globe and Mail

TTC driver accused of assaulting passenger on crowded bus

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) headquarters on Yonge St., Toronto January 31, 2011.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

A TTC employee is charged with assault after allegedly shoving a man on a bus while the uniformed driver was en route to a shift.

Around noon on Jan. 8, the driver boarded a crowded westbound bus on Sheppard Avenue near Markham Road, and "hollered at people to move back behind the white line," TTC spokesman Brad Ross said.

Mr. Ross said one passenger, Isaac Gould, said something to the driver; police Constable Wendy Drummond says Mr. Gould, who was riding the bus with his son, simply did not move back as requested.

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The driver is alleged to have approached Mr. Gould, grabbed him by the shoulder and pushed him up against one of the poles on the bus, Const. Drummond said.

Mr. Gould called police, who arrived shortly after the driver exited the bus at McCowan to start his shift.

Frederick Tulk, 59, is charged with assault. He surrendered himself to police Feb. 8 and was released on his own recognizance, Constable Drummond said. He appears in court March 17.

The incident comes just days after irate transit riders sent photos of TTC vehicle operators caught texting while driving, as the TTC undertakes to revamp its beleaguered customer-service image.

"This behaviour that occurred is unacceptable to this organization," Mr. Ross said. "We are in the public-service business; there are few public services like public transit that deliver as direct a public service to as many people every day. Our employees are trained and are expected to conduct themselves in a way that respects our customers."

Mr. Ross, who said the Mr. Tulk has been disciplined but couldn't say whether he's still employed at the TTC, argued his alleged behaviour isn't representative of the vast majority of the TTC's thousands of employees.

"The vast majority of them do an excellent job every day," he said. "One individual's actions does not the TTC make."

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