A BUS driver has told of his nightmare as a gang of 30 yobs fought to try to rob him of his takings.
The mob surrounded the number 2 First service after it became trapped in icy conditions.
At the wheel was Bakir Sayin who told the Daily Echo of his terror after the gang began hurling snowballs before storming the vehicle and punching him in the face in an attempt to rob him.
Mr Sayin, who has been driving buses for First in Hampshire for eight years, told how he was frightened and scared by the ordeal, which left him needing hospital treatment for injuries to his face.
He said: “I was waiting for help from the depot, sat in the driver’s cab and the doors were shut when about 30 people came up to the bus. They were trying to open the doors, pushing them and then some of them held them open whilst about five or six came inside.
“I was being punched in the face and they were throwing snowballs at me, it felt like there were 100 snowballs coming at me.”
The youths, who are said to be aged between 15 and 17, then began trying to steal his bag containing his wallet and other items, but did not succeed during the attack that happened in Meggeson Avenue, Townhill Park.
Mr Sayin, who lives in Regents Park with his wife, told how he was left with cuts to his lips and face and severe pain to his chin and neck.
Local residents saw the incident and ran to his aid, at which point the mob ran off towards the shops in the road while Mr Sayin pressed the emergency button and contacted managers back at his depot to ask for help.
Later that night he ended up in Southampton General Hospital receiving treatment for his injuries and has now been forced to stay off sick.
Mr Sayin added: “It was quite frightening and I was nervous and upset.
“I was on my own and it was just a horrible day – a nightmare. I was so grateful to the people who came to help me.”
Police are now checking CCTV cameras in the hope of identifying those responsible for the attempted robbery that happened between 10.45am and 11.15am last Friday, but have urged anyone with information to come forward.
A spokesman for First said: “This is deeply concerning and something we take extremely seriously.
“We find it hard to understand why those involved sought to do this. Our drivers work incredibly hard and should be able to do so without fear or intimidation. We will be working with the police to aid their investigation into this matter and we hope the culprits are caught quickly.
“There were lots of people around at the time, and police need to speak to them.”
Anyone with information should contact Bitterne CID on 101.