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'Clearly there is something wrong': Bus driver comforts woman fleeing assault
A good deed by an Ottawa bus driver is getting plenty of recognition after a passenger snapped a photo of the man comforting a woman who was reportedly escaping a domestic assault.
OC Transpo driver Dan Stoddard says he was simply doing his job when he noticed a woman at a bus shelter who seemed to be in distress.
“Once I pulled up she didn’t come out,” Stoddard told CTV Ottawa. “At 1 a.m. when it’s the only bus that drives by, and when you’re not coming out, clearly there is something wrong.”
He eventually convinced the young woman to get on the bus. She told him she was fleeing an assault and needed a phone to call for help.
Stoddard called transit security and drove the bus to a Park & Ride lot while they waited for police to arrive.
Stoddard asked two other men on the bus to move to the back of the vehicle, while he sat in the front with the woman.
“She said that she had been assaulted physically and verbally,” Stoddard said. “Beyond that, it was just a matter of listening to her story, reassuring her and telling her it wasn’t her fault.”
Brendan Fowlie, one of the two other passengers on board, took a photo of Stoddard comforting the woman, which he posted to his Facebook page. The photo has since been shared nearly 7,000 times.
“People never hear about the good things they do,” Fowlie said. “Everyone always knows when the bus is late. But (drivers)don’t get credit for the good stuff, the safe arrivals.”
When police arrived, Stoddard said goodbye to the woman and finished his route. He said he hasn't heard from her since, and he doesn't expect to. He just hopes she's well.
“Do I know what happened specifically? No I don’t. Did she need help? Yes she did,” Stoddard said. “I helped with what I was able to help with. I didn’t go above and beyond, I did what every human should do.”
With a report from CTV Ottawa