A GOOD Samaritan was brutally attacked on a packed bus – after trying to stop tearaway children from throwing hot chips at fellow passengers.
For his trouble, Alan Small was battered by two men and a woman pushing a baby in a buggy as horrified passengers – who had said nothing seconds before as they were pelted with greasy fries – looked on.
The 53-year-old was travelling home on a number 30 Lothian Bus following a night out bowling with his family when the mood turned ugly.
The dad-of-two was on the packed single decker with his wife, Sandra, 49, son Alan, 25, and daughter Violet, nine, after getting on board at Fountain Park at around 8pm.
Mr Small said: “I had my earphones in so I didn’t hear what was going on at first, but I saw a woman sitting with a baby in a buggy speaking to my wife.
“I noticed that three young kiddies with this woman, two girls and a boy aged about four to six years old, were running down the aisles throwing hot chips at other passengers. My wife had asked the grown-up to stop them.
“I took out my earphones and asked the woman to stop the kids throwing food and got abuse from her. There were two men sitting behind me who were obviously with her. One of them shouted, ‘Do you want me to break your jaw?’
“I was in my seat when one of the men came up behind me and grabbed me round the neck and wrenched it back. The two men then started hitting me and the woman came across and thumped me, too. I don’t remember much after that because I blacked out.”
He was knocked unconscious during the sickening assault in front of his terrified, screaming family.
The shocked driver stopped near Westside Plaza, where the attackers jumped off, following the July 9 incident. The bus company confirmed the driver alerted Police Scotland by using an on-board alert button.
Mr Small said: “The police took me home to interview me, but I started feeling dizzy and passed out in the bathroom. I was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where the doctors put me in a neck brace and I had a CAT scan and X-rays.
“I suffered internal bruising and severe bruising to my neck.
“The police contacted me on Wednesday night to say the CCTV on the bus was faulty so they were at a loose end in catching these people. I hope that someone who knows those involved contacts police. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.”
Wife Sandra said: “I was trying to protect Alan. Our daughter was terrified.”
Councillor Dominic Heslop, who covers the Pentland Hills ward, said: “It is deplorable behaviour. A Good Samaritan has been attacked for simply exercising his right to try and stop other people being intimidated.
“We don’t want a culture of have-a-go heroes, but we should appreciate a person like Mr Small who was just trying to do right thing.”
Fellow local councillor Ricky Henderson said: “It’s horrendous that a man who tried to step in and do the right thing can end up on the wrong side of an attack like this.
“I can only hope that witnesses on the bus who might be able to identify those responsible come forward.”
A Lothian Buses spokesman said they were “currently investigating” the CCTV coverage but were unable to say whether the incident had been recorded.
He said: “ Our drivers are trained to deal with a variety of difficult situations and have instant communication links both with our control centre and with the emergency services.
“All our buses have CCTV which is checked at the end of every journey.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating following a serious assault on board a number 30 bus.
“Officers are keen to trace two men and a women in connection with this incident and anyone who can assist with their inquiries is asked to come forward.”