Audrey Fredericks, who lives in Bois D’Orange, Gros Islet, told St. Lucia News Online that she was assaulted and bitten by the bus driver in a fall-out over bus fare.
During that time Fredericks paid the bus driver $3.25 but the driver was not happy. He insisted that Fredericks paid the full fare or get off his bus.
Fredericks insisted that’s the amount she normally pays and refused to disembark the bus. But she said the bus driver was relentless, insisting she paid the full fare, while ignoring offers from other passengers to pay the difference of 25 cents.
Things came to a head when the driver opened the door and dropped the money on the seat. While attempting to pick up the money, Fredericks said the bus driver grabbed her hand and they both began to struggle.
Fredericks said her son tried to push off the bus driver but to no avail.
Fredericks said the driver bit her hand when she attempted to take her phone which he took during the scuffle. She burst the driver’s chain in the process.
Below is a letter written to Godfrey Ferdinand, president of the National Council of Public Transportation, by Fredericks. (Parts of the letter – including the driver’s name and bus number – have been edited for legal reasons)
Dear Sir: This letter is to inform you of an incident between myself and a bus driver.
My name is Ms Audrey Fredericks, I live at Bois D Orange, Quarter of Gros-Islet. On Thursday 21st August 2014, Myself and 12 years old son boarded a Route 1 A bus…. I paid him $3.25 for both of us since that is what other drivers usually charge me.
The driver claimed I was short by $1.25 I told him that is not true since that’s what I usually pay besides I was coming off at Bois D Orange, he then stated that I was short by $.25. He told me to pay him of come off his bus, which I refused to do. Another passenger offered the $.25 but he refused to accept it, yet someone else offered a $1.00 and he still refused it. He proceeded to open the door and dropped the $3.25 on the seat next to me and once again instructed me to get off his bus, I refused at first but then I attempted to pick up the money and disembark the bus, however he grabbed my hand and a scuffle ensued, my son then offered him the $.25 and he told him “give it to your mother for her to give me”.
I came off the bus but then I saw him with my mobile phone a Galaxy S5, and he said he’s taking me to court, I boarded the bus again and when he sat down I tried to grab my phone, he then bit me on my hand, I grabbed his chain and bursted it, he drove to the Gros-Islet Police Station where he reported to the police that I refused to pay him and later hit him with my phone, which is not true. He stated that he’s taking me to court for his damaged chain which according to him is valued at US$6000.00.
I am also taking him to court for assault, before leaving the police station I paid him $3.50. I went to the poly clinic where I saw a doctor and was given a Tetanus Injection and other medications.
As a passenger it disgusts me at the manner in which some of the driver behaves, some of them overcharge commuters and get away with it, a perfect example one night I boarded a bus at Gros-Islet and was charged $5.00 to Bois D Orange, when it should have been price and a half after hours. This had to be paid before the bus moved.
Please contact me on …. for further discussion on the matter.
Cc: Mr Thomas St. Louis
Public Relations Officer
Gros-Islet Mini Bus Owners Association