Police are appealing for witnesses to help find a woman filmed slapping another female passenger in a first class train carriage.
A heated row broke out over disabled space on a Virgin train from Birmingham to London on Sunday. Witnesses said the middle-aged woman — who was travelling with a disabled man in a wheelchair — attacked the ‘innocent’ victim after calling other passengers ‘ableists’ and ‘b******s’. The row allegedly started because people were standing in an area designated for wheelchairs as the 6.10pm service was packed.
In the footage, the woman travelling with the disabled passenger is heard saying: ‘Look at all of them. Look at all of them. Ableists and b******s.’ When a female passenger in yellow reacts to her, the suspect lunges towards her and a slap can be heard as the seated passenger puts her arm up to defend herself. Witnesses shout ‘woah’ and one woman adds: ‘Don’t touch people.’ A man’s voice is heard, saying: ‘Right, the police are being called.’
Later in the video, the wheelchair user confronts a woman standing up to say: ‘So great with your attitude.
I am a human being, you know.’ He then adds: ‘Patronising.’ The woman accuses him of running over her foot in his chair.
A witness to the fight claimed the disabled man had been sitting in a train seat before the video started, but this was not seen on camera. He told MailOnline: ‘I think he moved to the wheelchair so he could join in the assault.’ He claimed the man and woman had been sitting together in one section while the wheelchair was parked in an area opposite.
Tensions flared when the woman pushed a couple standing in the aisle between them and the wheelchair, the witness claims.
He said: ‘It was hard to understand. The middle-aged woman felt the two people standing in the aisle were standing too close to her. ‘Maybe she thought that space was a disabled area – or maybe she and her companion had had other negative experiences. ‘They seemed to use the disability issue as a cover to have a bloody good go at everybody.’ The suspect got off the train at about 7pm at Milton Keynes Central. Virgin Trains said: ‘We are aware of the incident and have referred it to British Transport Police.’ A BTP spokesman said: ‘We received a report at 7pm on May 12 of an assault on a Euston-bound train. ‘A woman is reported to have attacked another woman in the first class carriage. The suspect then left the train when it arrived at Milton Keynes Central.’
source: Daily Mail