Landscaper fights off man armed with machete on transit bus
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Terry Morton got on a bus near his St. Vital home to go downtown and meet a friend Wednesday, but panicked and got off soon after.
“I don’t want to get on a bus ever again,” Morton said. “It’s not safe.”
His anxiety was understandable, given the shocking violence he experienced aboard a Winnipeg Transit bus Tuesday evening.
The 34-year-old self-employed landscaper climbed aboard a northbound Route 55 bus at Beliveau and St. Anne’s roads at about 8 p.m. with a shovel and ice scraper after clearing the snow from a client’s driveway.
He was sitting near the vehicle’s rear door, close to where a group of three people began to argue, he said.
“They were yelling, so I turned around and asked them, nicely, to keep it down, and then next thing I know I’m being punched in the back of the head,” Morton told the Free Press.
“I got up and asked the guy why he just punched me, he then got in my face and said, ‘What are you going to do about it, b—-h?’ and went to hit me again.”
Morton said he tackled the man to a seat, where the two struggled and choked each other before they let go and Morton went back to sit down.
Another one of the group who had been arguing approached him and said he had a machete, Morton said.
“By the time I got out of the seat to move, this guy got out a machete and was hitting me on the head with the handle,” said Morton.
“Right where we were, there was a mom and a daughter — I’d say not even one year old — so I tackled him, got the machete back in the sheath and a Good Samaritan used my ice scraper to hit the guy… I held the machete the whole time we were wrestling on the bus floor.”
The driver stopped the bus near the intersection of St. Anne’s Road and Fermor Avenue, Morton said, where other passengers fled. He said he told the man with the machete to get off the bus.
“I threw first the machete out the front door, then him, and then got everyone else back on the bus,” he said, before the driver locked the doors and called for help.
A transit supervisor and then police officers arrived, who arrested the man nearby, Morton said.
Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Claude Chancy confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that officers responded to an assault with a weapon involving passengers on a transit bus Tuesday at about 8 p.m., but said he would not have further information available until Thursday.
Morton said he’s nursing his wounds — and scared to ride the bus, despite not having a vehicle to get to snow-shovelling jobs.
“I suffered a stab wound to the finger, some bruising to my face, the back of my head, legs,” he said. “Right now, every part of me is just on fire.”
“I just asked a bunch of people as nicely as I could to keep it down, I didn’t think this was going to turn into me fending for my life.”
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.