Categories: Local News

Guilty plea in attack on local bus driver

Crown prosecutors intend to seek dangerous offender status for the man who viciously assaulted a St. Albert man and Edmonton bus driver in December.

Gary Edwin Mattson pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault and assaulting a police officer for the violent attack on Tom Bregg, a St. Albert man and long-time Edmonton Transit driver.

Bregg and several other bus drivers filled the courtroom in downtown Edmonton for the hearing.

The sentencing hearing was not completed, but Crown prosecutor Patricia Innes did indicate she would be seeking dangerous offender designation for Mattson.

A dangerous offender designation would keep Mattson incarcerated for an indefinite period of time and would require permission from the parole board for his release.

Innes used witness statements and police reports from the event to help construct a picture of what happened that day for the court.

The statements from several passengers on the bus all indicated Mattson ran alongside the bus Bregg was driving on Dec. 3 around 7:30 a.m. and pounded on the front doors as the bus started to pull away.

Mattson got on the bus, but said he did not have enough money for the fare and started yelling and swearing at Bregg.

All of the witness statements say that without warning, Mattson began striking Bregg, first punching him three or four times in the face before pulling him out of his chair and throwing him to the ground just outside the bus.

The bus was equipped with video surveillance and one of the police reports said after reviewing the video, it appeared Bregg was knocked unconscious before being thrown from the bus.

Outside the bus Mattson continued his assault, stomping on Bregg 14 times before pausing and then stomping on his face one final time.

Cory Scott Dehek, a witness who was on the bus, described having to turn away when he exited the bus because Bregg’s injuries were so severe as to be disturbing.

The sentencing hearing was cut short on Thursday afternoon to allow defence lawyer Naeem Rafu to attend a funeral and is expected to resume sometime later this month.

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