Published: 00:01, 09 June 2014
A Maidstone bus driver had his finger broken by an angry customer who tried to board the vehicle with a faulty pass.
The driver, who was on the number 26 route to Hunton, seized the card after an electronic reader said it had been stopped by Kent County Council.
The suspect then tried to snatch the permit, which did not belong to him, and bent the driver’s fingers so hard in the scuffle that one of them broke.
When he realised the injury he had inflicted the passenger ran from the bus, which was at a stop in King Street.
“Bus drivers are in very short supply in this area and to have one missing from his post for this reason exacerbates the shortages..." - Norman Kemp
A replacement driver took over control of the bus 15 minutes later and the victim, who did not want to be identified, has not returned to work since the assault, which took place at 4pm on Saturday, May 24.
He is due to visit a fracture clinic on Tuesday, and it is not known when he will be fit to return.
Norman Kemp, co-owner of bus firm Nu Venture, said: “Bus drivers are in very short supply in this area and to have one missing from his post for this reason exacerbates the shortages.
"We are having to send managers out behind the wheel daily to keep the show on the road, which causes a rippling effect through the company.
"We can’t just stop running these services. A lot of people rely on us.
"It’s also costing us more money than we would like but that’s not the biggest concern. I hope the authorities can catch the man who did this.”
Police say he is a 6ft 2in white man believed to be in his mid-20s. If anyone has information quote crime reference YY/10201/14.
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