San Francisco bus driver assaulted with bat over mask order

FILE - In this April 7, 2020, file photo, a Muni worker walks in front of buses at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency yard in San Francisco. A San Francisco bus driver was assaulted with a wooden bat after asking several passengers to wear a mask in keeping with city health orders to combat the coronavirus. A San Francisco police spokesman said three men boarded the bus Wednesday afternoon, July 22, 2020, and refused the driver's multiple requests to put on masks. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - In this April 7, 2020, file photo, a Muni worker walks in front of buses at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency yard in San Francisco. A San Francisco bus driver was assaulted with a wooden bat after asking several passengers to wear a mask in keeping with city health orders to combat the coronavirus. A San Francisco police spokesman said three men boarded the bus Wednesday afternoon, July 22, 2020, and refused the driver's multiple requests to put on masks. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco bus driver was assaulted with a wooden bat after asking three passengers to wear a mask in keeping with city health orders to combat the coronavirus.

The three men boarded the bus in the city's South of Market neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, said San Francisco Police Department officer Robert Rueca in an email Friday. The driver asked the passengers multiple times to wear a mask but they refused, so the driver pulled over to let them off, Rueca said in a statement.

“As the victim was escorting the males off the bus one of the males pulled out a wooden bat and struck the victim several times, which caused the victim to be injured," he said.

The passengers fled on foot.

The driver was left with injuries that were not life-threatening and is recovering, police said.

An email to the mayor's office and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was not immediately returned.

San Francisco requires people to wear face coverings while on public transportation.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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