US national apologizes after verbally abusing bus driver

By Lauly Li ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A U.S. national yesterday afternoon publicly apologized to a bus driver in front of a police station in Taoyuan after recently verbally abusing the driver on a bus.

In Taoyuan on the night of Aug. 4, the foreigner, who has been identified as having the first name Jackson and is reportedly a U.S. national of Taiwanese descent, accused the bus driver surnamed Chen of ignoring his request to halt at a bus stop. Chen said the foreigner did not press the stop button in time so he had to pull over at the next stop, while Jackson claimed that he did. After Chen stopped the bus at the next stop, Jackson came up to the driver’s seat, reportedly shouting and threatening Chen in English, while his pregnant wife who was traveling with him translated some of what he said to Chen.

Surveillance camera footage from the bus shows Jackson demanding that Chen apologize to him and attempting to push Chen with his chest. Some elderly passengers intervened and apologized on behalf of Chen in an attempt to soothe the man’s temper. A female passenger surnamed Lin later uploaded a video on the Internet in which Jackson can been seen shouting and using foul language toward Chen. The video went viral; netizens later discovered Jackson’s place of residence. Jackson reportedly said that he would press charges against Lin for uploading the video, but later dropped the charge after the incident drew media attention and criticism.

Chen, on the other hand, went to the Taoyuan Police Department and said he would sue Jackson for publicly humiliating him. Chen said the incident does not necessarily need to be handled by a court, noting that he just wanted the foreigner to apologize.

Both Chen and Jackson yesterday went to the police station and reconciled in front of reporters. The foreigner said he is sorry for causing the commotion, noting that his temper caused him to act that way. He said “it has nothing to do with Taiwan or being a foreigner; it was just an argument.” He asked Chen if he is welcome to be Chen’s passenger again and Chen responded by saying that he is indeed welcome. The bus driver said he could feel Jackson’s sincerity, so he accepted his apology. Chen later dropped the charges. Jackson said he discovered that a clothing store in Taoyuan City previously operated by his wife had been splashed with black paint, noting that police officers have started to investigate the incident.

He said the lease on the clothing store had just expired at the end of June. Jackson said that such damage is really bad, adding that he thinks it is worse that what he has done.