A 22-year-old Port Moody woman was sentenced to 14 days in jail for spitting in the face of a bus driver in Coquitlam last year.
Lakota Morningstar Kakakaway was convicted of assault earlier this month stemming from an incident that occurred on board the 97B line in June, 2016.
According to transit police, the woman was intoxicated when she got on the bus at Lougheed Station and had been told repeatedly by the driver to stop swearing.
When she did not comply, she was asked to get off the bus at the stop just north of Austin Avenue, where she spat in the driver’s face before getting into a taxi and leaving the area.
Because Kakakaway had been invovled in an earlier incident, police were able to identify her and earlier this year she was convicted of assault following a trial.
“It is gratifying to see the recognition from the courts regarding the serious nature of assaults on bus operators,” said Vancouver Transit Police chief Doug LePard. “While this young woman had a history of negative police contacts, she did not have a previous criminal record. This is an extraordinary outcome for a first offence and sends a strong message to other offenders and front-line transit staff.”
In the decision, the judge noted the vulnerability of public transit operators and said spitting on a driver was “an act of disrespect and one posing serious danger of transmitting serious disease through saliva,” according to a press release from the Vancouver Transit Police.
Police also stated that since the beginning of 2017, there have been 79 reported incidents of assault on bus operators.