Man without face mask punches MTA bus driver in face, NYPD says

MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Police are searching for the man who attacked a bus driver in Manhattan after the driver refused to let him on because he wasn't wearing a mask.

The attack happened around 2:30 a.m. Monday near Madison Avenue and East 29th Street.

The suspect, who is seen on surveillance video, punched the 62-year-old driver in the face and ran away.

The driver is expected to be OK.

"This is a despicable attack on a hero moving this city during a pandemic and simply trying to protect the safety of all customers," interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg said. "We are cooperating with the NYPD's investigation and search for the perpetrator. We recently launched Operation Respect to make masks available for anyone who needs them, have deployed MTA security and staff safety volunteers to assist with mask distribution, and ask all New Yorkers to join in this effort to protect health and safety."

Masks are mandatory on MTA buses.

Police are trying to track down the suspect.

Call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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