French bus driver dies after brutal attack by passengers who refused to wear face masks

A French bus driver has died after he was savagely beaten by passengers who refused to wear face masks.

Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed Philippe Monguillot’s death on Friday.

Monguillot was hospitalized and declared brain dead after the July 5 attack at a bus stop in Bayonne, in southwest France.

His 18-year-old daughter, Marie Monguillot, told Agence France-Presse that doctors and the family decided it was time “to let him go” and take him off life support.

Monguillot was dragged off his No. 810 bus and violently beaten and kicked in the head after he asked four passengers to wear face masks, the Bayonne prosecutor said. Masks are required on French public transportation because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Four people are in custody, authorities said.

Veronique Monguillot, wife of Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver who was attacked in Bayonne on Sunday night, holding a photo of her with her husband, during a protest march in Bayonne, southwestern France. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

Veronique Monguillot, wife of Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver who was attacked in Bayonne on Sunday night, holding a photo of her with her husband, during a protest march in Bayonne, southwestern France. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin traveled to meet Monguillot’s widow after news of his death.

“This bus driver was only doing his job,” Darmanin said. “He left his home in the morning and did not come back, leaving a widow and three orphan girls. It is an absolutely odious act.”

The widow, Veronique Monguillot, said she told Darmanin that the family was “destroyed” by the brutal attack and called for “exemplary punishment” of those convicted of the slaying.

“We must bang a fist on the table, so this never happens again,” she said. “It’s barbaric, not normal. We must stop this massacre.”

France has more than 208,000 confirmed coronavirus infections and over 30,000 virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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