Another public bus driver assaulted

NJ Burkett reports on Long Island bus driver attack. Bus drivers are now demanding security partitions in the wake of the latest attack.
April 16, 2014 5:31:07 PM PDT
Two Nassau County bus drivers have been assaulted in the past four weeks.

The Nassau County Police Department are still looking for a suspect in the most recent attack on March 23. On a bus on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, a driver was physically assaulted.

"He punched him in the face," said Chris Gavin, vice president of the drivers' union, Transport Workers Union Local #252, after the suspect missed his stop.

"He's doing okay," said Gavin.

Police are looking for a man described by the suspect as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 250 pounds.

Bus driver Julio Pacas said he's never been assaulted behind the wheel, but he's seen riders get angry. "There's no excuse," said Pacas. "This is just my job."

A month earlier, a female bus driver was assaulted by one of her passengers on the same route. Police arrested a suspect in that case. Because the victim operates a public transportation vehicle, the assault charge is routinely upgraded to a felony.

Union officials said reduced schedules and route changes have left some riders angry, and they're taking it out on drivers. "They're being spit at," said Gavin, who described it as a "scary time."