No bail for motorist accused of pointing fake gun at bus driver

The accused was arraigned under arrest and charged with causing a bus driver to fear for his safety, breaching two sets of previous bail conditions and recidivism

(File photo)
(File photo)

A motorist who allegedly threatened a bus driver with an imitation handgun last month was charged on Wednesday, after being tracked down by the police.

Simon Leyton Rachid, 23, from Valletta was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Rachel Montebello on Wednesday, charged with causing the Filipino bus driver to fear for his safety, breaching two sets of previous bail conditions and recidivism.

Inspector John Sammut, prosecuting the case, gave an account of what had led to Rashid’s arrest. 

He told the court that the driver of the bus in question had gone to the Żurrieq police station at around 7:30pm on May 28 to report that earlier that day, while he had been driving his bus in Triq il-Barrieri, Żurrieq, a Toyota Vitz coming in the opposite direction had come alongside his vehicle.

While passing the smaller car, he said, its driver had pointed what looked like a handgun at the bus driver, who upon seeing this, stepped on the accelerator and drove away. The other vehicle did not follow or give chase.

The police had requested footage from the public transport operator, and upon examining it had noticed that the incident had been captured on video in its entirety. However, the Vitz’s registration number could not be made out from the onboard footage, so investigators had approached residents in the area who might have recorded the car’s number plate on their home security cameras.

The police were able to identify the registration details from CCTV footage retrieved from one of the residents, and had called in the Toyota’s registered owner for questioning. 

The owner had released a statement to the police, explaining that although the car was hers, she had lent it to her daughter on the date in question.

It emerged that Rashid had been using the car at the time of the incident. 

In court today, Rashid pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody.

Police Inspector John Sammut is prosecuting. Lawyer Jeannine Depasquale assisted the defendant.