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January 24, 2018
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Czech city's transit authority admits ticket-checker should not have touched Romani child but otherwise backs her

13.1.2018 11:48
On 11 January 2018 a ticket-checker removed Romani children from a bus as they were commuting to school in Trmice because they were wearing backpacks. (PHOTO:  Facebook, Collage:
On 11 January 2018 a ticket-checker removed Romani children from a bus as they were commuting to school in Trmice because they were wearing backpacks. (PHOTO: Facebook, Collage:

The transit authority of the City of Ústí nad Labem (DPMUL) issued a press release yesterday acknowledging that their ticket-checker was not authorized to grab a boy's hand while doing her job on one of the city buses recently. However, the DPMUL is alleging that the boy was vulgar to her and refused to take his backpack off, so they are standing by their employee in the matter.

The incident happened on the morning of 11 January as a group of schoolchildren were commuting to the Primary School in Trmice. Yesterday morning news server was told by the DPMUL that they could not comment on the incident because the Police of the Czech Republic are investigating it, but a press release was posted by the DPMUL online addressing the incident as follows: "At this moment the Transit Authority of the City of Ústí nad Labem, a.s., is standing behind its employee, despite the fact that we are aware that the ticket-taker was not authorized to grab the boy by the hand. Unfortunately, the tense situation and vulgar behavior of the minor toward her was very demanding and stressful on her."

The DPMUL describes the entire situation as follows: "At the Průmyslová stop a small group of young teenagers got on the bus wearing backpacks on their backs and remained standing in the area reserved for the transport of children in prams. Because their backpacks prevented other passengers from walking through the vehicle, especially those getting on board and young children, the ticket-checker approached them and, using a polite form of speech, asked that they take their backpacks off with regard to the other passengers. The teenagers did not respond to her request and therefore she repeatedly drew attention to it. At that moment, one of the teenagers turned around and verbally assaulted her, addressing her familiarly with a very vulgar expression. Because they did not obey her instructions and orders, the ticket-checker was within her rights [...] to remove him from the vehicle. After the bus stopped, the group voluntarily disembarked with him."

Video footage filmed by another passenger shows that the boy was holding his backpack in his hand, not wearing it on his back, at the time the video of him refusing to disembark was made, which contradicts the DPMUL's press release account. News server is in contact with the family of the boy whom the ticket-checker attempted to force off the bus through her inappropriate physical intervention against him.

The boy's family alleges that this is not the first time this ticket-checker's behavior has been problematic, but they also expressed regret over the entire situation. His parents emphasized that the behavior of the ticket-checker and of the local police officer present, who wanted to prevent the passenger from filming the situation, was absolutely incorrect.

The boy who was removed from the bus by the ticket-checker, according to his parents, was late for class and subsequently had to go to surgery department of the hospital in Ústí nad Labem for medical treatment. According to the medical report, his hand was bruised by the intervention.

The DPMUL's press release also alleges that the number of conflicts on mass transit are growing. News server has been informed by local commuters that some drivers and ticket-checkers are behaving inappropriately.

There were many eyewitnesses to the incident on the bus. The boy's family has filed a report of a crime against the ticket-checker and the case is being investigated by the Police of the Czech Republic.

redakce, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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