Officials at the Afikim bus company are investigating claims made by a young haredi man that he was attacked by one of the company’s bus drivers and thrown off of a bus in the middle of a highway at night.
According to haredi news site BeHadrei Haredim, the young man, D., boarded a bus of Afikim’s 422 line connecting Jerusalem to Bnei Brak last Thursday evening.
The bus was packed, but D. saved a spot for his friend, who was supposed to board the bus at a later stop in Jerusalem and travel with D. to Bnei Brak.
The trouble began, the D. claims, when he asked the driver to stop at the Ramot junction bus stop, where his friend was waiting to board. The driver refused D.’s request, saying there was no room left on the bus.
Despite D.’s explanation that there was in fact one seat left, the driver remained steadfast in his refusal. When D. began asking the driver for identifying information, he refused. When D. repeated his request, the driver allegedly became agitated, grabbed D.’s phone and smashed it on the floor of the bus.
When D. continued to demand the driver’s name, his response became increasingly aggressive.
“I again asked for his name, but this time the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes on the side of the road, and all the passengers went flying,” D. told BeHadrei Haredim. I went back to my seat and asked someone to lend me their phone so I could talk with my father.”
After the phone call, when D. approached the driver yet again, the latter slammed on the brakes again, took hold of the young man, and dragged him off of the bus in the middle of Route 433 – far from any bus stop.
In response to the report, Afikim spokesman Shai Malka issued a statement on behalf of the company, saying that “The issue is still under investigation. The matter has been sent to the relevant authorities to clarify [what happened]. We will update [the public] as soon as the inquiry has been completed and we receive the results.”
But, Malka added, “With that being said, since the customer did not approach the relevant authorities in the company [with his complaint], we request his contact information so that we may complete the inquiry.”
“In any event, this is a very serious complaint, and if it turns out to be accurate, we will take the necessary measures.”