JUTC passengers injured, 2 buses damaged in separate incidents

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Several Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) passengers were injured in separate pepper-spraying and stone-throwing incidents on Monday, which also resulted in two buses being damaged.

According to Corporate Communications Manager for the State-owned bus company, Cecil Thoms, the incidents took place on the same day that taxi and bus operators staged a protest as they demanded a traffic ticket amnesty from the Government.

Thoms said that around 3:20pm on Monday, a route 97 bus, which plies the downtown Kingston to Bull Bay route, was traveling along the intersection of Windward Road and South Camp Road when passengers began shouting that they were having difficulty breathing.

He shared that there was an altercation between students, one of whom “sprayed pepper spray inside the bus”.

“The driver reportedly opened the front door to get passengers out of the unit, while other passengers reportedly broke the side glass of the unit, both right and left, in a bid to exit the bus. 

It is understood that police personnel who were passing by observed what was happening and provided assistance. 

The student who released the pepper spray was pointed out and was taken into police custody,” Thoms said.

He said in the second incident, a stone was thrown inside a bus traveling from Half-Way Tree, St Andrew to Spanish Town, St Catherine, on route 32B, in the vicinity of Eastwood Park Road and Courtney Walsh Drive. The incident occurred around 7:40pm.

“One passenger was injured, but his wounds are not considered life-threatening.

“The bus was intercepted by the police along Washington Boulevard near Maverley and a male passenger was taken to hospital,” said Thoms.

The bus company is encouraging persons who may have filmed the two incidents and anyone else who may have information to provide same to the police to help in their investigations.

“We are also pleading with those who would seek to perpetrate violence, the hoodlums who engage in this reckless practice of stoning our buses, to stop it. 

Such actions only serve to diminish the service we provide to the traveling public and endanger their lives,” Thoms said.

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