Police seek 'manly' woman over racist rant

POLICE want to speak to a "very manly" woman accused of racially abusing an Indian woman travelling on a bus between Port Melbourne and the city, and of later assaults.

The alleged offender racially abused the Indian passenger "throughout the journey into the city", police said in a statement, after she was accidentally "bumped" by the Indian woman's handbag.

When the journey was completed and the Indian woman and her Indian friend got off the bus in the city, police said that the "abusive" woman also got off the bus, followed the two victims and "physically assaulted them by slapping them across the face."

When one of the victims attempted to use a mobile phone to telephone police, the alleged offender "slapped the phone out of her hand and smashed it on the ground," the statement said. The abusive woman also issued a threat that "something bad" would happen to the Indian women, if they told police about what had happened.

The Indian women told police that the ugly incidents occurred on Wednesday December 12, after they caught the Bay Street bus at 12.30pm. Police have appealed for witnesses to the long-running incident, which they said ended in a "racially motivated assault."

After slapping the Indian women across the face, the alleged offender left the scene by taxi, with another woman who had travelled with her on the bus. The police statement said the offender, aged in her 30s, was "described as about 160 centimetres tall, short spiky blonde hair, very solid build and looked very manly." She was wearing a black T-shirt with the word "Burberry" written on the front and three-quarter length blue pants.

Police said that the abusive woman's travelling companion was aged in her 30s, had a small skinny build and "dull blonde medium hair tied into a ponytail."

The ugly behaviour comes just weeks after another horrible case of racial abuse on Melbourne's public transport system made headlines. In that incident passengers on a rail replacement bus on the Frankston line from Mordialloc to Caulfield yelled abuse and threats at some French girls on the bus who were singing a song in French.

More than 300,000 people have watched video footage on You Tube of the main protagonist in that incident deliver his abuse, including the line "speak English or die, motherf---er."

Police have urged witnesses to the Port Melbourne and city incidents to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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