‘Elderly’ man and anti-Muslim rant on bus
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday August 02 2016
The Gazette reports on a witness appeal launched by Cleveland Police in connection with an alleged incident of anti-Muslim abuse on a bus travelling along Stockton High Street at around 9am on Wednesday 27 July.
Police are looking to trace an elderly man who allegedly engaged in an anti-Muslim rant on the bus.
The man is claimed to have addressed other passengers on the bus about the murder of Catholic priest, Father Jacques Hamel, in Rouen last Tuesday, before uttering threatening and abusive remarks about Muslims.
One passenger, David Bates, 32, told the local paper: “He was saying ‘I absolutely hate Muslims, I’d kill them all’.
“He then started going on about the Nazis and said ‘Hitler would have gassed them all’.
“That was one of the most bizarre things – he was old enough to have lived through the war, so for him to openly support the Nazis was strange.”
Mr Bates said the elderly man “was pointing out of the window at Asian people setting up market stalls and shouting stuff.”
Mr Bates said there were no “non-white” passengers on the bus and no apparent direct target of the abuse. Mr Bates said that there were a few people on the bus who appeared to nod along in agreement the man’s abusive remarks but, he said, the driver handled the incident well telling the alleged offender: “either you shut up, or get off the bus – this isn’t acceptable on public transport.”
“It had been an awkward experience for everyone on the bus, which was about half full, and I think if there was somebody in particular being targeted, me and others would probably have said something to him,” Mr Bates added.
A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: “Officers received a report that a man, described as elderly, travelling on a number 37 Stagecoach bus on Stockton High Street at around 9am made inappropriate racial comments.
“There were other passengers on the bus at the time and police would like to speak to those people.”