Breck Free Ride driver fired, charged with assault following incident with rider |

Breck Free Ride driver fired, charged with assault following incident with rider

A passenger sits on a Breck Free Ride bus Dec. 30, 2021. He got in an altercation with the bus driver after refusing to wear his mask.

A Breck Free Ride driver has been charged with assault and fired from his job after he got into an altercation Dec. 30, 2021, with a rider who refused to wear a mask.

According to the Breckenridge Police Department case report, officers responded to a disturbance at 7:13 p.m. at the Breckenridge Station. Dispatch advised that a bus driver had been physically attacked.

When the first officer arrived, he found driver Tim Jones with the rider pinned down on the bus. The officer advised Jones to let the rider go.

The report states that the rider appeared to be intoxicated and was bleeding from the mouth. The rider claimed to be a bus driver with Vail Resorts and cited a “turf war” with Breck Free Ride as the reason for the altercation. A Vail Resorts spokesperson declined to verify his employment.

In his statement, Jones said he picked up the rider at the F Lot bus stop, where he told him to put his mask on due to the mask mandate. Upon arrival at the station, Jones noticed the rider was no longer wearing a mask and told him to put it back on, to which the rider responded with profanity.

While Jones was trying to call Breck Free Ride dispatch to report the incident, Jones said the rider “got up in his face” and shoved him. A physical altercation ensued, in which Jones said he tackled the rider and hit him in the back of the head, according to the report.

After reviewing a video of the incident, a responding officer said the aggression shown by Jones was unwarranted. Jones was issued a summons for assault, and the rider was issued a summons for harassment and violation of the public health order.

Jones wrote in an email that he’s frustrated the passenger didn’t face more severe charges. He also said losing his job with the town meant losing his local housing, so Jones and his wife have left Summit County.

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