British Transport Police were called to Mile End underground station (credit: Christine Matthews)
A male customer became angry when gate line staff refused to open the barriers for him as he did not have a ticket.
Staff asked him to step back to a safe distance but he started threatening to break their noses.
The suspect also swore at an older female customer who tried to intervene and spat a “huge spray of saliva” in her face according to the Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA).
British Transport Police were called to the scene and took spit samples from the victims face and arms.
It is unclear if the man has coronavirus.
The TSSA has condemned the incident which they described as “disgusting and frightening.”
“Spitting has always been considered an assault, but following the tragic story of Belly Mujinga and heightened fears over the highly contagious coronavirus, more must be done to prevent such horrendous acts of violence against transport workers and passengers,” said Lorraine Ward, TSSA Official for London Underground.
“Our union is pleased the BTP were on the scene straight away at Mile End and we hope that a prosecution can be secured. We’re redoubling our call for protective visors to be made available to all frontline transport workers across the rail, tube and bus networks as they provide a greater degree of protection from such acts.”
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes added: “Spitting at someone is always disgusting, but during the current Coronavirus pandemic it’s also bloody dangerous. The BTP must prosecute anyone who spits at public transport workers and bosses must ensure our members are given whatever protective equipment they need.”
Tags: Tower Hamlets, Mile End
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