Passenger sentenced in attack on Kelowna bus driver

The 23-year-old man who admitted to assaulting a Kelowna bus driver in March 2019 has learned his fate.

Court heard the passenger and driver got into a confrontation on the bus near the Rutland Exchange.

The defence said that Christian Habberjam thought that bus driver Peter Lansing nearly ran over a pedestrian at the crosswalk, so he yelled at the bus driver.

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Kelowna bus driver shares story of assault on Day of Mourning

The Crown said Lansing told Habberjam to get off the bus or be quiet.

Court heard that Habberjam then approached the driver, trying to take his photo.

In the video, Lansing can be heard saying “Don’t take my picture.”

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Defence lawyer Wade Jenson said the driver then knocked the phone out of Habberjam’s hand, and the passenger overreacted.

Read more:
Kelowna bus driver “beaten up pretty good,” assault that caused crash investigated

Court heard Habberjam pulled Lansing out of his seat and kept kicking and hitting him while the bus continued to roll, only coming to rest when it smashed into a retaining wall.

Lansing suffered from serious injuries, including a concussion and amnesia of the incident.

He also said he’ll never be allowed to drive a bus again, and he still struggles with anger and anxiety.

Read more:
Man accused in Kelowna, B.C., bus driver assault pleads guilty

“I don’t forgive (Habberjam) at this point, no. It’s something I’d like to get to, maybe?” Lansing said outside the courtroom.

“I think the biggest thing is, is because I didn’t even see a person lift their hand to hit me, I didn’t have a chance to defend myself. I didn’t have a chance to hit back. And that’s where I feel so victimized,” he said.

The defence said that Habberjam has a job, doesn’t drink or do drugs and had no prior criminal record.

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Court heard he’s remorseful. “He thinks about what happened every day,” Jenson said.

Habberjam declined the opportunity to address the court. “I think I’d prefer to stay silent,” he said.

Habberjam was given a one-year conditional sentence, which is to be served in the community under a curfew, followed by 12 months of probation.

He’s also not allowed to take regional transit for the next two years.

Lansing said he wasn’t surprised at the sentence.

“This is not an arrest, to me it’s more of a curfew,” he said.

“It’s changed my life. And all the time that I’ve not been working, he’s been pursuing his career,” Lansing said, adding that he was meanwhile suffering from physical, psychological and financial impacts of the attack.

Click to play video 'Bus driver’s assailant pleads guilty to assault'

Bus driver’s assailant pleads guilty to assault

Bus driver’s assailant pleads guilty to assault – Dec 11, 2020

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