MTA bus driver describes vicious attack by belligerent passenger in Brooklyn

Sonia Rincón Image
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Bus driver says she was punched in the face by passenger in Brooklyn
Sonia Rincon has more on the victim's account of the attack.

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- A New York City bus driver is speaking out after she was attacked by a passenger in Brooklyn, a disturbing crime that's just one of three attacks on city bus drivers in recent days.

The bus driver, who did not want her name made public, says she suffered an injury from a belligerent passenger Friday morning when she was almost at the end of her route in Brooklyn.

"No one pressed the bell. So, the guy gets up and he says, 'you passed my stop, can you let me off,'" the victim said.

She tried to explain that she couldn't do that.

"And before I could finish, I was getting punched in my face and driving," she said. "I have to make sure I don't crash and keep the people safe on the bus."

Then she says he used profanity and threatened to kill her.

"So, I stopped, and I opened the door because I thought about my precious kids that I wanted to get home to," the victim said.

The next day, the driver of another Brooklyn bus was slashed on the job. The attacker in that incident is also still on the loose.

In fact, that driver was also expected to speak at a news conference with their union about what it calls a fresh uptick in attacks on its members, but he didn't make it since he's still in too much pain.

"We've had a rash of assaults on so many of our employees," said TWU Local 100 President Richard Davis. "Just this morning, we had a conductor who was punched in the face."

Another conductor was punched on the job Monday, according to the union, which says it's glad the NYPD increased its presence on the subways but say the same is needed on buses.

"We are not the public's punching bag. And eventually something's going to happen, and the transit workers are going to march with their feet and I'm going to be right with them," said TWU Local 100 Vice President John Paul Patafio.

In the first quarter of this year, the NYPD says assaults on transit workers were down by about half, compared with last year, but the union says the city and the MTA can't let their guards down.

"Because assaults, it seems like it's going down, the numbers are going down, they feel it's ok now," Davis said. "No, it's not ok. If one of our members gets hurt, we all get hurt. An injury to one is an injury to all for us."

"I really love my job. And I just really want to make it back home," the bus driver said.


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