It's the first round after the break, when uwe smola (51) is on the bus on this 5th day. April 2017 gets into his city bus. Line 910 in the direction of michaelsberg, 16.05 o'clock. Smola still knows exactly. Also what happened next: "there was a brawl at the ZOB, the police were already on the scene. Two of the group wanted to get on my bus, so I quickly closed the doors."
But because an elderly couple still wants to get on, the city bus driver opens the door again – and the two young men scurry inside. "I told them to get their act together." At first, everything had been in order, they had dutifully paid their ticket.
Then, shortly after the stop "am kranen", one of the two completely freaks out. The 21-year-old bangs on bus poles and seats, attacks passengers. "He grabbed one of them by the collar and threatened: "if you open your mouth, I'll punch you in the face", reports smola.
He observes the situation in the rearview mirror, sees how the 21-year-old starts to harass a teenager. "The atmosphere was very tense, people wanted to get out of the car. I immediately stopped at the next stop in markusstrabe." He asks the two young men to leave. "One of them suddenly rushed forward, destroyed a ticket validator and yelled at me: "don't throw me out!!"
Hit in kidney and neck
Smola wants to call the police, but the 21-year-old struggles with him for the cell phone. The bus driver uses this situation to push the attacker out of the vehicle "the people were still in the bus". Uwe smola wants to pick up his cell phone, but the guy is all wound up and punches me in the kidney." Three or four more blows to the neck follow, and the 21-year-old ends up putting the bus driver in a headlock. The 15-year-old teenager who had previously been harassed by the attacker is still yelling loudly for him to leave the bus driver alone.
Then finally comes the extinction: as the police sirens can be heard, the attacker runs off in the direction of the university cafeteria in markusstrabe and continues to riot there. A passenger had called the police. They arrested the 21-year-old local man, but he resisted and slightly injured an officer, according to police spokesman erich gunther. He also confirms: "the person was already a police suspect" and resisted arrest. Was there perhaps a substance or two in the blood?? Gunther refers to the ongoing investigation, but hints: "there is a suspicion of drug and alcohol consumption." Bus driver uwe smola claims to have noticed something about 2.3 per mille at the time.
He did not know at that time that he would have something of the incident for a long time to come. After the care in the ambulance called his wife from home. "She had heard about it on the radio and only said: oh no, that's not you." She later drove her husband to the hospital, because he could no longer move his neck, suspected of a fractured vertebrae. But the doctor gave the all-clear. "She said it was good that I was training. So the muscle intercepted a lot", says smola. It took 9 ½ weeks and many sessions of physiotherapy before he was able to return to work. The beginning was hard. "It was a strange feeling when I saw drunk people."
And then there's something else: the stupid words from the environment. That he should have hit him, why he, as a rough guy, had put up with it. "That annoyed me. But they did not see his look. What if someone pulls a knife like that??"
Police praises behavior
Confirmation of smola's behavior comes from the police. He received 100 euros and an accompanying letter from alfons schieder, president of the police in upper franconia, from bamberg's chief police officer thomas schreiber – for his civil courage. Praise and recognition also came from municipal utility manager michael fiedeldey.
Bus drivers are prepared for critical situations, explains public works spokesman jan giersberg. In addition, the buses have an emergency button and are gradually being equipped with video technology. "Nevertheless, it is important that people do not look away when something like this happens", says smola.
He loves his job in spite of everything. "You can do a tour ten times, it's different every time because the people are so different." And then it tells about the "gaudi at carnival or old ladies who always pay him something. His favorite line, by the way, remains the 910, even after the incident. "Because of the many narrow gasses, where always no one can believe that we come around there."