‘Family feud’ behind frightening bus brawl
A FIGHT that broke out among passengers on a public bus was part of an ongoing family dispute, a court heard this week.
When the bus driver hailed police for help in a Riverview street, officers boarded to find the disturbance had erupted at the rear of the bus.
One man was seen standing on a seat kicking Jay Masso.
Several passengers were charged, including Masso, who went before court on Friday for his role in the incident.
Jay Frances Masso, 38, from Bellbird Park, pleaded guilty to causing public nuisance on a bus at Riverview on Monday, March 15.
Prosecutor Sergeant Trent Voigt said police were waved down by the bus driver at Gibb Street just after 2pm.
He reported a fight going on in the rear of the bus and the officers went on-board.
"Several passengers at the front were looking scared. There was scuffling at the back," Sgt Voigt said.
"A male was seen standing on a seat attempting to kick another male."
Masso told police he got onto the bus after visiting relatives, then saw his cousin and another male.
When he tried to speak to him the male abused him.
Masso told police there was an ongoing family feud.
Defence barrister Peter Sloane said police had seen a male standing on the seat kicking into Masso who was still seated.
"Their families don't get along so there was talk between the two and a fight started," Mr Sloane said.
"It would have been horrific for the other passengers on the bus and the children.
"The gentleman he was fighting, it goes back a long way. Unfortunately the families just don't get on.
"He certainly played his part in this."
Mr Sloane said Masso earned about $400 a day when working away for a cultural heritage centre.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said it was a serious example of public nuisance and occurred in the enclosed space of a public bus that would have been intimidating and frightening to the other passengers.
Ms Sturgess said while it was not suggested that Masso had been the instigator, he did engage in the behaviour.
She said people should not bring their family disputes into the public domain.
Ms Sturgess noted that his criminal offending had dropped back considerably with mostly public transport train fare offences since 2015, and one charge of threatening behaviour in 2020.
Masso was convicted and fined $750.