French bus driver attacked over mask rules dies

Philippe Monguillot
Veronique Monguillot (C) wife of bus driver Philippe Monguillot, declared brain dead after being attacked for refusing to let aboard a group of people who were not wearing face masks, stands with her daughters during a white march in Bayonne, southwestern France, on July 8, 2020. - Four men set upon 59-year-old Philippe Monguillot in the southwestern town of Bayonne on July 5 after he asked three of them to wear masks and tried to check another man's ticket. The other two men have been charged with non-assistance to a person in danger and one has also been charged with attempting to hide a suspect, the local prosecutor's office said. (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ / AFP) (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Credit: GAIZKA IROZ/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

(CNN) — A bus driver in France who was beaten up by passengers refusing to wear mandatory face masks died in hospital Friday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex and the victim’s family have said.

Philippe Monguillot, 59, was left brain dead after the attack in the southwestern city of Bayonne on July 5. His family decided to switch off his life support on Friday, news agency Agence France-Presse reported.

“We decided to let him go. The doctors were in favor and we were as well,” the victim’s 18-year-old daughter, Marie Monguillot, told AFP.

Four men were detained and charged following the assault.

The attack occurred on Sunday around 7:15 p.m. on the 810 bus traveling to Biarritz after the bus driver checked the ticket of one of the men and asked all four to wear face masks, which are compulsory in French public transport, according to the public prosecutor’s office.

On Wednesday, Monguillot’s family organized a march in his honor, with all attendees wearing white.

Prime Minister Castex confirmed Monguillot’s death on Twitter late Friday, writing that the case had “touched our hearts.”

“The Republic recognizes him as an exemplary citizen and won’t forget him. The law will punish the perpetrators of this despicable crime,” he wrote, describing the attack as “cowardly.”

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin also expressed his condolences to Monguillot’s frends, family and colleagues.

“This heinous and cowardly act must not go unpunished. I’ll be traveling to Bayonne tomorrow to make a point of safety in the city with state officials and meet with public transport drivers and unions,” he wrote on Twitter.

The company Monguillot worked for, Keoilis, has boosted security for its employees, deploying guards on some of its bus services in the area.

The company held a minute’s silence in its offices and on its transport networks on Wednesday in mourning for Monguillot.

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