Police and the Prosecutor’s Office investigate an attack on a young African man
Sunday, 12 February 2017
De Lijn has confirmed that the Police and Prosecutor’s Office are investigating an attack on a young African man, which happened in Grimbergen on Wednesday evening. The suspect is a De Lijn bus driver. The incident led to 150 people demonstrating in front of the Brussels-Capitale-Ixelles police headquarters in Ixelles on Saturday afternoon. They claim the victim was attacked with a knife, but the Hal-Vilvorde police have said there is no proof of that.
The incident happened on Wednesday evening, when the young man was taking the bus home in Grimbergen. The driver questioned the SMS ticket the victim showed him. There was an argument and the driver pulled out a knife. The victim was injured, but not seriously. The police went to the scene but let the suspect go, according to the demonstrators.
The Hal-Vilvorde Prosecutor’s Office said there was an animated discussion between the driver and the 16 year old passenger, during which the younger man received a superficial graze.
“No-one was stabbed, and the presence of a knife cannot be confirmed”, said Gilles Blondeau, a spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office. A criminal investigation has been opened and both parties have to remain available for questioning.
“De Lijn condemns any sort of violence on or around our vehicles”, says Joachim Nijs, a spokesman for the Flemish public transport company. “In this specific case, the police and Prosecutor’s Office have opened an investigation, and we will cooperate completely. Both parties will be questioned. There will also be a thorough internal investigation. Preventing assaults is a priority for De Lijn. Our staff are trained on how to reduce verbal and physical violence during their initial training and throughout their career”.