France

Bus driver dies after face mask wearing row with passengers

A bus driver who was assaulted in France on Sunday by young men refusing to wear face masks has died, his daughter Marie revealed to AFP.

“We decided to let him go. The doctors were in agreement and us as well,” she said.

Philippe Monguillot, 59, was the victim of an assault “of extreme violence”, said the deputy public prosecutor of Bayonne, Marc Mariée.

Two men, aged 22 and 23 and known to police, are suspected of having beaten the bus driver and were arrested for attempted homicide.

Two other people have been imprisoned for failing to help a person in danger, according to AFP.

Authorities said the driver wanted to check the ticket of one of the suspects and demanded that three others wear face masks. Wearing a mask on public transport is compulsory in post-lockdown France.

At a press conference earlier in the week it was revealed the bus driver had been violently kicked and left unconscious on the pavement. Monguillot was brain dead after the incident.

Prosecutors will seek additional charges for “intentional homicide of a public transport network agent,” Bayonne prosecutor Jérôme Bourrier told AFP.

Bus drivers that stopped working over the incident will return to work Monday with “reinforced security conditions,” transport operator Keolis said.

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