A King County metro bus driver in Renton, Washington reportedly attacked a passenger who had aggitated him according to a new video that has surfaced. The driver struck the passenger with his fists as well as the 8-pound wheel block. The altercation began once the bus had reached the Renton Transit Center which is the last stop on the route.
The passenger who is visibly sleepy and presumably cold, wanted to continue to doze off in his seat. The altercation finally begins as the passenger starts to argue with the driver and refuses to get off of the bus. The driver then started kicking his bag towards the door.
The tensions got even worse when the passenger spit in the driver’s face. It was at this point that the driver vicously began beating on the passenger, reportedly hitting him about 7 times. The most surprising part about this story is in the fact that the bus driver had worked for Metro transit 12 years and had maintained an entirely clean record. He has now been fired. The driver and passenger are now facing fourth degree assault charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
The passenger’s father expressed his frustration after watching the video saying, “That’s pretty severe, and I don’t think nobody deserves to get struck like that.” He went on to say, “I really feel sorry for that bus driver, I really feel sorry for him. I know everybody needs a job.” The father also apologized on behalf of his son spitting on the driver.
King County Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond said that Echols’ actions were “inexcusable, appalling and unacceptable.”
“Spitting is a felony assault, so what the passenger did was wrong.” He went on to say, “But that in no way excuses the driver. This driver’s reprehensible actions were an aberration from the fine work Metro employees do every day. Our drivers often face difficult-and sometimes threatening-situations, and respond appropriately.”
You may be asking yourself why the passenger was so sleepy and hostile to begin with? Court documents later revealed that the passenger was hung over from the night before.
(H/T: KOMO News, King5.com)