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Accused bus driver attacker makes appearance

A man accused of beating a St. Albert man nearly to death made his first court appearance this week and could seek bail as early as Tuesday.

A man accused of beating a St. Albert man nearly to death made his first court appearance this week and could seek bail as early as Tuesday.

Gary Edwin Mattson appeared briefly, wearing a blue remand jumpsuit, at the Edmonton courthouse on Wednesday and told the court he hadn't managed to arrange a lawyer and wanted more time to find one.

Crown prosecutor Patricia Innes, who has been specially appointed to the case, agreed to set the case over until Dec. 15 to give Mattson more time to speak with Legal Aid and arrange a lawyer.

If Mattson has arranged a lawyer by that date he may have a bail hearing.

He is currently being held at the Edmonton Remand Centre until at least his next court date.

He is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and assaulting a police officer stemming from an incident on Dec. 3.

Multiple 911 calls

Edmonton police received a flurry of 911 calls around 7:30 a.m. that morning after an intoxicated male walked on to an Edmonton Transit bus at 139th Avenue and Victoria Trail and started assaulting the driver.

The driver, Tom Bregg, was badly beaten in the assault. A Facebook group in his name sprang up following the attack and had more than 4,300 members as of Friday.

People from across the country were using the site to wish Bregg a speedy recovery and call for a tough legal response to the perpetrator.

A trust fund for Bregg and his family has been set up at the River City Credit Union under his name and cards or letters can be sent to Box 305 of the main St. Albert post office.

The attack has also led to more support for Bill C-314, a private member's bill currently before the House of Commons that would amend the criminal code to make attacks on public transit workers a more serious offence.




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