French bus driver brain dead after being assaulted for requiring passengers wear masks
A bus driver in Bayonne, France, suffered serious head injuries Sunday night after he was attacked by several people attempting to board without tickets or face masks.
The driver — a man in his 50s whose name has not been released — was punched several times Sunday night and declared brain dead Monday, according to the AFP news agency.
Several people have been arrested over the incident, according to the BBC, citing French news outlet France Bleu.
Although face masks are mandatory on all French public transportation, union sources told a local radio station that the individuals attacked the driver after he attempted to stop them from bringing a dog onto the bus.
Several bus drivers in the area refused to work on Monday following the attack, saying it was indicative of transport company Chronoplus’s failure to adequately protect drivers, according to The Local.
In the U.S., where coronavirus cases have spiked even as they decline in much of Europe, several videos of similar incidents have gone viral, with shoppers and passengers refusing to wear masks. In late May, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced an executive order allowing businesses to refuse entry to anyone without a facial covering.
“We made them mandatory in public settings, public transportation etc., but when we’re talking about reopening stores and places of business, we’re giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in,’” Cuomo said at a May 28 press briefing.