A woman collapsed in front of shoppers in London’s South Bank after being throttled by an angry tour bus driver.
The female open top bus driver jumped out of her bus in the middle of the road in central London and grabbed the passer-by by the throat shouting: “You took my picture! Delete my picture!” Witnesses told the Evening Standard how the female driver launched the ‘ugly’ assault on the 27-year-old King’s College graduate for filming the Golden Tours bus as it jumped a red light near Waterloo Station. The driver believed to be in her 30’s, left her double decker open top bus unattended with the engine running in the middle of Stamford Street. The college graduate is heard pleading with the angry, shouting, bus driver to let go of her.
The captured video shows her screaming back saying: “Let go of me, you have to let go of me” while being throttled by the angry, tour guide, bus driver wearing sunglasses. Witnesses describe how she stood over her victim while a traffic jam was building up behind her bus, behaving more like Muhammad Ali in a boxing ring. The victim was shaken up by her experience but was otherwise OK.
The Evening Standard reports:
In footage obtained by the Standard the terrified young woman can be heard screaming: “Let go of me, you have to let go of me” as she is grabbed around the throat.
The stocky driver retorts: “You took my picture! Delete my picture!” as she attempts to wrestle her bag from her.
Drivers and cyclists were forced to swerve as the two women grappled in the street before the victim was dragged to the roadside where she collapsed.
She appeared to briefly lose consciousness as she slumped onto the pavement clutching her neck.
The driver, wearing a white blouse, black trousers and shades, turned angrily on a crowd of passers-by who had gathered to remonstrate with her.
One incredulous witness asked her: “What are you doing? Aren’t you supposed to be driving that bus.. and you’ve done this?”
The driver, who was contracted to Golden Tours by an agency, boarded the bus and calmly pulled away in the direction of the British Film Institute, leaving her victim splayed out beside a bank of Boris Bikes opposite King’s College Waterloo campus.
Police today said they were looking into an allegation of assault at 5.55pm on Tuesday. The driver’s contract with the tour company has since been terminated.
One witness told the Standard: “The bus driver had apparently run a red light and the pedestrian filmed it on her phone.
“The next moment the bus driver pulled up and left the bus in the middle of the road and stopped the traffic.
“She assaulted the pedestrian, grabbed her and dragged her onto the pavement. The driver was stood over her like Muhammed Ali and started arguing with the people who came to help.
“Then she turned around, got back on the bus and drove away. I was stunned. The poor woman was just lying there, crying and in shock for about 10 minutes.
“She was clearly terrified and very shaken up but luckily she seemed to be okay. I think she just wanted to get away from the scene and go home as soon as she could. It was a really ugly scuffle.”
Golden Tours run a fleet of open-topped blue double decker buses which run daily sightseeing tours through central London and the West End.
The company advertises its 10-hour “Total London” experience for £99 per person and includes a tour of the South Bank and a ride on the London Eye.
A spokesman for Golden Tours said: “We are aware of this. We had CCTV cameras on our vehicles and have viewed the footage.
“She was an agency driver and her contract was terminated straight away when it was brought to our attention.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Officers are investigating allegations of an assault which occurred on June 16 at 5.56pm in Stamford Street, SE1.
“A 27-year-old female alleges she was assaulted by a driver of a tour bus. Enquiries continue and there have been no arrests.”
The attack follows a series of recent episodes where drivers have been filmed by “lycra vigilantes” with footage then posted on YouTube.
Jason Wells, 50, owner of South London coffee chain Brew, was captured on camera describing a cyclist as a “f****** idiot” in Priory Lane, Roehampton, earlier this month.
On Tuesday a woman in Hampton Court, south west London, was filmed on a cyclist’s helmet camera eating a bowl of cereal at the wheel of her Land Rover Discovery during morning rush hour.
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