A BUS driver was left black-and-blue after being battered by a passenger attempting to board without wearing a face mask.
The driver confronted the man for not wearing a face covering, before he became aggressive and forced his way onto the bus on Charminster Road, Bournemouth.
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Dorset Police have launched an investigation into the attack, which happened at around 4pm on Wednesday.
Officers said the man became verbally aggressive when the driver refused to let him on.
After forcing his way on, the driver went to remove him – but he was then attacked by the maskless man.
The bus driver was hit on the head with a beer can, then pushed and kicked on the floor.
He was later treated in hospital for a sustained cut to his head.
Cops attended the scene and searched for the man – but he could not be located.
The offender is described as being in his late 30s to early 40s, of scruffy appearance and wearing a rusty-coloured open top shirt.
From today, Friday 24 July, government rules about when people in England have to wear face masks in public have changed.
It is now mandatory to wear a face mask in shops, supermarkets, and on public transport.
If you’re getting a takeaway, eating in a cafe, or visiting your bank and post office – you’ll also need to be wearing a face covering.
People will face a £100 fine for not wearing a mask in the designated places.
Children under 11, people with breathing problems, mental illness and physical disabilities are all exempt from the new government regulation.
The face coverings do not have to be medical grade – they can be as simple as a scarf or a bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
Following the brutal bus attack in Bournemouth, PC Kate Brew said: “We are investigating this assault and I am appealing to anyone with information that might assist our enquiries to please come forward.
“I understand there were a number of people on the bus and at the bus stop at the time, some of whom have not spoken to police and I would ask them to please make contact with us.
“This was a nasty attack on a bus driver who was just doing his job and we are determined to identify the man responsible.”