x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Unrequited love drives man to commandeer school bus

An Emirati student, 19, is charged with assaulting his alleged 31-year-old former lover aboard her night school bus.

DUBAI // A heartbroken teenager commandeered a bus full of schoolgirls in an attempt to speak to his former sweetheart, a court has heard.

The lovelorn Emirati student, MA, 19, was charged by public prosecutors at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday with threatening and assaulting a 31-year-old female Pakistani student, FM.

According to records, the woman had ended her relationship with MA - 12 years her junior - a few weeks before the incident.

MA allegedly jumped aboard the school bus on December 20 last year and, screaming and shouting, chased FM and her 16-year-old sister around the vehicle.

The sisters were on their way to their night school in Hor al Anz.

In court yesterday, MA pleaded guilty to the charges but told the judge he had only wanted to get back a mobile phone that he had given the woman.

MA had been in a relationship with FM, who is a student at an Adult Education Centre in the Hor al Anz district, since September 2009, according to court records. 

FM told prosecutors she and the defendant had maintained a relationship by telephone for two months. She said that, at one point in time, MA gave her a telephone SIM card and mobile phone which she used to communicate with him.

"Three weeks before the attack, I returned to him the mobile phone and SIM card," said FM.

She claimed MA was causing her too much trouble and did not want anything to do with him any more, records show.

"After I ended the relationship, he refused to accept it," she said. "He started to wait for me in front of my house and chase me while trying to talk to me. But I never paid any attention to him."

On the day of the assault, MA approached FM while she was waiting for the school bus to arrive. "He came in an agitated state, and started screaming at me," she said.

MA was allegedly asking her why she was not speaking to him and why her mobile phone was switched off.

When the bus arrived, FM boarded the bus with her younger sister, A, 16, and sat at the back.

But MA followed them into the bus, screaming: "I will not leave you, you Pakistani woman."

MA then grabbed FM, records show, and twisted her arm in front of the passengers. 

The 52-year-old bus driver tried to intervene and pull the man away, but records show he turned on the driver and pushed him away.

MA then ordered the driver to proceed to his house which was nearby.

The Pakistani driver, Abdul Ghafar Ahmed, told prosecutors his vehicle blocked the road outside MA's house and a driver came to the bus to ask why he wasn't moving.

"A driver got onboard and asked me what was going on, and then he saw the defendant and pulled him out," said Mr Ahmed.

The bystander who intervened later told prosecutors he had seen MA's mother calling to him to get off the bus and that is why he went to investigate.

FM's sister told prosecutors that, after the man was taken off the bus, the driver sped off to the school and informed the headmistress about the incident.

The headmistress, in turn, contacted police who took their statements and called the defendant.

In MA's confession, he told prosecutors he had only boarded the bus to retrieve his mobile phone and that he had told the driver to go to his house because his little sister was also on the bus and he wanted her to be dropped off.

Judge El Saeed Bargouth will issue his verdict on November 30.