Female bus driver attacked in the Bronx

September 14, 2011 2:10:18 PM PDT
A female bus driver in the Bronx was attacked by a disgruntled passenger because she had to pass his stop due to construction.

Maria Hogan was attacked on Fordham Road between Webster and 3rd.

It's a very busy intersection and even busier on a Saturday morning.

It's far from the first time.

So drivers are demanding the MTA does something before someone else gets hurt or worse killed.

"I pushed him and he tried to grab me again," said Maria Hogan, a bus driver.

Maria Hogan was in the fight of her life Saturday morning.

A 6 foot tall, 200-pound passenger went on a rampage, punching, pushing and pulling the bus driver.

He was upset because Hogan didn't pull over at his stop.

"I pushed him with my legs I don't know how many times. Then he tried to grab my legs," Hogan said.

Hogan says she made several announcements that the 192nd Street/Kingsbridge Road stop was closed because of construction so riders would have to get off at Fordham Plaza.

As she was passing that stop, she heard someone call out for her to pull over.

Minutes later, as the 45-year-old let off passengers several blocks away, the angry rider went on the attack.

"When he threw the first punch he cursed at me," Hogan said.

She has bruises all over her arms, legs and neck.

Hogan is the second BX-9 female driver to be attacked at this very spot in just three months.

So the Transport Workers Union is again demanding partitions to protect drivers.

"It's an L shape here so it gives you some protection so if somebody wants to hit you they would have to reach around. That's better than nothing," said Richard Fields, Jr., the Transport Workers Union Depot Chairman.

"They have a cabin for train operator they have a cabin for a conductor why don't we have protection for the bus operator?" said Tony Aiken, a Transport Workers Union representative.

So far, the MTA has installed shields in five buses.

After what happened to Maria, they're buying 100 more.

In a statement a Charles F. Seaton, a spokesperson for the MTA said, "MTA bus operators perform a tough and demanding job that requires skill and patience. This past weekend's assault is an outrageous insult to the thousands of Transit workers who service the public every day."

"We are so exposed. I'm not the first one. There are a lot of people getting killed and being spit on," Hogan said.

The MTA says there were 59 drivers assaulted from January and August this year.

That's seven more compared to last year.

Hogan saw the man walking away with a woman and a little girl.

The suspect is still on the loose.

There were no cameras on the bus.