A Good Samaritan was allegedly punched in the face after he stepped in to stop an ugly racist rant on a packed Melbourne train.
Fairfax reports Jason Cias, 36, was travelling home from work on the Craigieburn-bound train when he noticed two tradesmen racially abusing three Muslim women - one older and two younger who appeared to be in their twenties - wearing head scarves.
"One of them made reference to her headscarf, saying 'you shouldn't be wearing that shit in Australia," Mr Cias told Fairfax.
The train had just pulled away from Melbourne Central station when the abuse started. One of the younger women had sat down on the seat next to the tradesman.
Mr Cias said the woman angrily responded asking what the problem was, and the situation quickly turned nasty.
The older woman appeared to try calm the heated exchange, speaking in Arabic, to which one of the group responded, 'You shouldn't be speaking that shit in Australia'," Mr Cias said.
The women got off the train at North Melbourne. One of the men yelled after them, 'I'll f***ing smash you," which prompted Mr Cias to intervene.
"I said to the guy, 'mate, they're women.' The implication there was you don't threaten people, particularly women," he told Fairfax.
Mr Cias was told to mind his own business before one of the assailant's got to his feet and allegedly punched him in the left cheek.
The men moved to another carriage after a fellow commuter stepped in to separate them.
Mr Cias got off the train at Kensington with two witnesses. One captured the assault on her mobile phone and contacted police.
Officers took statements and copies of the vision and images of the two offenders.
Mr Cias suffered bruising and swelling in the attack, but escaped any serious injury.
"Whether it's Islamic women or whoever, it's just not right they can abuse people like that," Mr Cias said.
"No one should be doing that to anyone regardless of race or gender or religious creed."
Morning news break - May 26