Man bitten by bus passenger in row over face mask being worn properly

A bloke with vicious-looking bite wounds on his chest says he was attacked by a stranger after he asked the man to put his face mask on properly.

Irishman Robert Murphy lives in Merksem in the northern Belgian province of Antwerp.

He says was travelling on a bus when he heard a man sitting behind him sneeze and felt droplets on the back of his head.

Robert, who is bald and so immediately felt the droplet land, says he asked the man to “at least turn away” if he was going to sneeze.

Robert says that after he explained the situation: “The man apologised.”

But shortly after that incident a couple boarded the bus and sat directly opposite Robert with their masks hanging under their chins.

He asked the couple to put their masks over their nose and mouth but, Robert says, “the man refused”.

The row quickly escalated, with the man swearing at Robert and the Irishman responding by calling him “ a bastard.”

 

The argument turned physical. Robert, 56, explained: “I tried to pull myself free, but I am disabled so it was not easy.

“We tussled until the man threw himself at my chest and bit me. I couldn’t believe it. He was like a mad dog. I pushed him away, but he wouldn’t leave me alone. The whole time he tried to bite me again.”

Other passengers managed to pull the man off and the couple reportedly jumped off the bus and made their escape.

The Belgian police have since tracked down the 38-year-old attacker and his partner and arrested them, according to local media.

Meanwhile, Murphy visited a local hospital for treatment for his bite wounds.

He said: “Strangely enough, the doctor doesn’t want to do a Covid-19 test because I cannot show that the other person, the biter, was infected with the virus. Fingers crossed.”

The investigation continues.