Man charged after alleged assault on bus driver

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A man who ran an unsuccessful campaign to become mayor of Vancouver two years ago has been charged for allegedly assaulting a bus driver. Matthew Michael Bristo, 42, is charged with one count of assault following an April 19 incident in which he is alleged to have spat on and punched a bus driver.

Around 6:10 p.m. that day, an eastbound 99 B-Line stopped at Alma and Broadway to pick up several passengers, including Bristo. He had allegedly been verbally harassing other passengers “with derogatory remarks” prior to the pick-up. As the bus drove off, the man stood at the front of the bus and continued making remarks to other passengers, as well as to the driver.

The driver then stopped the bus at Broadway and Trutch, and asked the man to get off. He refused and instead, spat on the driver, who then disembarked the bus to call police. Bristo followed the driver off the bus and allegedly punched the driver twice in the side of the head.

“Several passengers tried to assist the operator but the man struck out at them as well before running away,” read a statement released by Transit Police. “Passengers ran after him and kept him in view until police arrived.”

Vancouver Police arrived on scene and arrested the suspect, identified by other passengers, before turning him over to Transit Police.

Bristo, who is well-known to police, was charged with one count of assault, and released. He is expected back in court on April 27. His release conditions include a ban on contacting the bus driver, and he is not to board any bus operated by that same driver.

During the 2014 municipal election, Bristo, who also uses the name Meynard Aubichon, ran for mayor as part of the “Stop Party.” He pledged to lower taxes for marijuana-related businesses, and identified himself as “the best street fighter” in his election bio.

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