The wife of the French bus driver who was beaten to death by four individuals for having told to wear masks appealed for exemplary punishment against the killers.
Veronique Monguillot, the wife of the 59-year-old victim, Philippine, said that her family was destroyed after the attack on her husband.
Philippine was left brain dead after four individuals who were taking aboard his bus 810 travelling to Biarritz on July 5 were told to wear a mask.
Wearing a mask was a requirement when taking public transport amid the coronavirus pandemic, with France struggling to combat the virus with 208,000 confirmed cases and more than 30,000 virus-related deaths, based on a tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.
According to the Bayonne prosecutor, the driver was insulted, pushed off the bus, and violently beaten.
“We must bang a fist on the table, so this never happens again,” the wife said. “It’s barbaric, not normal. We must stop this massacre.”
The Monguillot family said they let Philippine go.
“We decided to let him go. The doctors were in favour and we were as well,” the victim’s 18-year-old daughter Marie was quoted as saying in an interview with Agence France-Presse.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that Philippe was only doing his job.
“He left his home in the morning and did not come back, leaving a widow and three orphan girls. It is an absolutely odious act.”
Confirming Philippe’s death, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that the victim was considered “an exemplary citizen.”
“This heinous and cowardly act must not go unpunished. I’ll be travelling to Bayonne tomorrow to make a point of safety in the city with state officials and meet with public transport drivers and unions,” he said.
As of press time, two of Philippe’s assailants have been charged with manslaughter.
The two men were accused of violently kicking the driver and punching the upper part of his body including his head, according to prosecutors.
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