A BUS driver was attacked by a knife-wielding thug while still driving his single-decker along a busy street.
The 35-year-old driver was forced to brake suddenly when the man – who had earlier been warned about smoking on board – launched an attack.
The suspect punched the driver several times then pulled out a kitchen knife and waved it at him before jumping off the stationary bus and making off.
Ten minutes before the assault, the driver had spotted the man lighting a cigarette and shouted for him to put it out.
The thug, who was with a woman, apparently waited until the bus was empty before launching the attack as the vehicle drove along Main Street in Blackridge, West Lothian.
Police are appealing for other passengers on the bus to come forward following the incident, which took place between 3.10pm and 3.20pm on Saturday.
Pc Graeme Yule, from Bathgate Police Station, said: “The driver managed to brake and pulled himself back in his seat to protect himself. The suspect then pulled out a kitchen knife, which was eight to ten inches long, and started waving it towards the driver in a threatening way. Nothing was said by the man during the attack and he got off the bus with a woman who had been with him.”
The suspect is described as white, between 20 and 25-years-old, 5ft 4in tall with a stocky build, short dark hair and a clean-shaven complexion. He was wearing a light grey zipper hooded top, light blue jeans and light trainers.
The woman is described as white, thin and with black collar-length hair. She was wearing a black puffer jacket and dark blue jeans.
Pc Yule added: “The driver has done very well to stop the bus safely. Attacking while the bus was moving could have ended in a fatal road accident.”
John Gorman, First’s operations director for Scotland East, said: “I can confirm that one of our drivers was assaulted on our service 800 on Saturday.
“The safety of our staff and passengers is of paramount importance and we are looking for assistance in identifying the individual who injured a member of our staff.”