PVTA driver assaulted after asking passenger to wear face covering


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A PVTA bus driver was assaulted after asking a passenger to wear a face covering, a spokesperson for the transit authority says.

PVTA spokesperson Brandy Pelletier told 22News the incident happened Sunday in the area of Plainfield Street in Springfield. Springfield Police said the incident took place on West Street Saturday around 3:45 p.m., over the suspect not wearing a mask and trying to board the bus.

The suspect allegedly punched the woman PVTA driver in the back of the head and then assaulted another person who tried to help. Police say he exited the bus and ran away on foot. The suspect is described as a juvenile.

Pelletier says no one was seriously injured in the incident, and no one needed medical attention. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the PVTA is only providing service for essential trips, and is requiring all passengers to keep their noses and mouths covered.

“Unfortunately this incident highlights the challenges and risks our employees take in working to ensure the safety of all who use the PVTA.  We encourage our riders to comply with this policy and ask for their support to ensure the safety of all,” Pelletier wrote.

Massachusetts residents are required to wear masks in public settings where social distancing is not possible.

If you can help identify the person in the photos provided by PTVA, contact Springfield Police or the PVTA at 413-732-6248.

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