MTA Driver Placed on Leave for Alleged Attack on Passenger


A female Maryland Transit Administration bus driver was placed on administrative leave after a cell phone video went viral earlier this week showing her appearing to grab and wrestle with a female passenger, authorities said.

An MTA spokesman said the incident is under investigation by Baltimore police and the transportation company. The driver’s name was not released.

A video uploaded on the Internet on No. 13 shows the bus driver appearing to snatch an unidentified passenger out of her seat as the passenger flails her arms. The video also contains images of the bus driver pinning the passenger down.

“You want to fight somebody? You want to fight somebody? You want to fight somebody?” the bus driver is heard asking the passenger. She later tells the passenger, “Get off me!”

After the driver releases the passenger, who appears to be a teenager or young adult, the passenger straightens her clothes and hair. She does not appear to be injured.

“You shouldn’t have jumped in my f—— face like you was [unintellible],” the passenger can be heard telling the driver.

MTA spokesperson Terry Owens said the agency is currently reviewing the Internet video and the bus operator will remain on leave until the investigation is complete.

“The safety of our passengers is a high priority” he said.

The incident is the second in as many months where videos were uploaded on the Internet showing altercations between drivers and passengers. On Sept. 18, Cleveland bus driver Artis Hughes made national news when he was depicted on a video delivering a stunning upper cut to the face of a woman passenger who had been cursing him out and challenging him, according to the video footage.

According to the {Cleveland Plain Dealer}, Hughes, 59, was fired last week by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. The {Plain Dealer} also reported that a union representing Cleveland bus drivers has demanded that buses be outfitted with shields to protect bus operators after three were attacked by passengers.

Several cities are now using shields to protect bus drivers, including New York City and Boston, news reports show.

In the Baltimore incident, the video starts after the driver has left her seat and is grabbing the passenger. It does not show what precipitated the incident.

A man’s voice can be heard in the background criticizing the driver for being “dead wrong” for her part in the incident. Earlier, passengers could be heard talking about the incident—“The driver and a girl fighting! and “Oh, my God! Are you serious!”—but nobody attempts to intervene.

Witnesses told MTA officials that the passenger “was playing her music too loud” and was being “disrespectful” to the bus driver, Owens said.

Ashley Cox contributed to this report. 


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MTA Driver Placed on Leave for Alleged Attack on Passenger

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