EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) --A New York City bus driver was attacked behind the wheel. He wants to remain anonymous, but the veteran MTA bus driver on the receiving end of the onslaught of punches vented his anger to Eyewitness News.
He's angry that his alleged assailant was allowed to walk out of court without posting a dime of bail.
"This individual did not care; you're attacking the driver on the moving vehicle. You're jeopardizing the safety of everyone n that bus and outside that bus," the victim said.
A judge released 18-year-old Thutmose Clark on his own recognizance Wednesday, accused in the assault of the 62-year-old driver on a jam packed b8 bus last month.
The driver says Clark first pummeled him while the bus was moving as he approached a stop at Nostrand and Avenue D in East Flatbush on January 29th just after 6 p.m.
"I now have to maintain control of this bus with one hand while fending him off with the other hand," the victim said.
Then, after the doors were open, he got off, then back on, and pounded away again.
The driver picked Clark out of a police lineup Tuesday night and was horrified to learn that he was already out.
A judge sided with the teen's mother who told Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres her son is autistic and schizophrenic, and doesn't handle crowds well.
"No, no, no, no, he's a sweet young man. No drugs, no alcohol never been arrested, never hit anyone before, but he has an illness and we have to work with him on that," said Rachel Clark, the suspect's mother said.
She says she has spent years trying to obtain special services for her son and, in particular, Access-A-Ride.
"You're talking about a system that is set up that's not meeting the needs of the people," she said. "So hopefully we can make that happen, particularly after this incident."
"Operators can't be victims, because it's a public bus. And if the operator's going to get attacked, what's going to happen to everyone else on the bus?" said JP Patafio, of the Transit Workers' Union 120.
Clark is due back in court on April 21.
Police in the Bronx are also investigating an attack on a bus driver. The bus was stopped Tuesday night in the Belmont section when the suspect attacked the driver, punching him twice before getting off the bus.