A man has pleaded guilty to assault after he attacked a bus driver in Vernon

Austin Phillips, 24, entered guilty pleas for two counts of assault on Monday, Dec. 2 at the Vernon Law Courts. Phillips was charged with two counts of assault and two counts of uttering threats related to events that took place on Aug. 19, 2019 at the downtown transit station.

According to an Vernon RCMP report, the incident began when the bus driver pulled into the transit stop at 8:45 a.m. and told Phillips to stop smoking a cigarette on a bench in the station - a non-smoking area. Phillips responded by grabbing and assaulting the bus driver, and then spat on a woman who tried to come to the driver's aid.

The 59-year-old bus driver was hospitalized after the attack with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

A pre-sentence report has been ordered and Phillips will appear in court again on Jan. 6, 2020, when the report will be reviewed and a date will be fixed for his sentencing.

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