City Desk

Metro Tracks Down Pushy Bus Driver

Metro officials say they've found the Metrobus driver filmed unceremoniously heaving a passenger from his ride. Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel says Metro isn't releasing the allegedly grumpy driver's name, and that there's no word on criminal charges against him. "At this point, this is an administrative process," he says.

Video of the incident surfaced Tuesday and made the rounds on news sites, with no one having a clue as to how such an ugly incident could have happened. But now we may know: If you stumble onto a bus, crush a toddler, get mouthy with other passengers, then threaten the driver, you might just get catapulted.

According to an account given to transit cops by the witness who filmed the shoving, it all happened on the U-5 to Lincoln Heights.

On August 31, 2011 at approximately 2031 hours while riding the U-5 bus en route to Lincoln Heights, a male patron boarded in the area of Minnesota Avenue, N.E. being loud and boisterous.  C1 stated that the patron appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance (either narcotics or alcohol) and unsteady on his feet.  While boarding the bus, the patron stumbled and fell onto a female patron that was seated and also fell on top of that patrons 2 year old child.  The female patron became angry and pushed him off of the child at which point he fell to the floor of the bus.  He was then assisted to a seat by a patron exiting the bus.  While seated, he became involved in a verbal altercation with several other patrons.  The patron stood up next to the bus operator and began to threaten him unprovoked.  C1 stated that the bus operator ignored the patron initially however the threats continued.  She stated that the bus operator became frustrated and pulled the bus over to confront the patron and demanded that he exit the bus.  This is the point in which she began to film the incident with her cell phone.

To see what happened from there, just play the vid.

City Desk has asked for updates on whether the driver will be reprimanded in some way, since Stessel earlier said that the driver did the wrong thing, and should have called transit police. We'll add more if we hear back.

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  • Jes’ sayin’

    So the drunken or drugged out passenger assaulted a two-year old child and the child's mother, threatened the bus driver without provocation, and people want to go after the driver for tossing this clown off the bus?

    Child, please.

  • Sonny

    If that witness account is accurate, the driver absolutely did the right thing. What was he supposed to do? Pull over, call the cops, and then wait while the drunk idiot assaulted and harassed the passengers?

  • Jennifer

    Reprimand?! Give that driver an award.

  • john

    Assuming the event happened as described above, then why is this author Rend Smith trashing the driver so much in this article? Didn't the buss driver do the right thing after the patron insulted multiple people and threaten the driver WHILE HE IS DRIVING which puts many lives in danger!! If i were to be in that bus I would ve helped the driver , what is wrong with this Smith????..

  • Ward4resident

    The driver did exactly what he should have done and should be given a bonus for doing so. Too often while riding metro buses or trains I see drug addicts and unruly teens endangering
    Paying customers. I'm really tired of it and just as tired of metro employees looking the other way when such things happen. Finally a WMATA employee who actually cares about the safety of his passengers!

  • Ross Ewage

    by the time transit police would have gotten there, the guy could have assaulted and/or killed passengers, especially if he was under the influence of something like PCP. sometimes you have to break rules to save lives. this man should be commended for his actions.

  • Lovessoldier

    So the update is the driver was FIRED for protecting his passengers. I wonder if the person who submitted this video is happy with themselves. Did you know that when the Transit Authority began drivers were allowed to carry guns and basically had the same authority as a police officer? It seems if this was still the case WMATA could save a whole lot of money currently invested in their disfunctional police force. Just my opinion.

  • busboy

    First, comments denigrating the reporter, Rend Smith, reflect both a poor understanding of the appropriate role of a reporter, and a poor level of reading comprehension skill. Smith can be faulted for using the prejudicial and assumptive adjective "grumpy." Otherwise, his story is objective.

    Second, if a policy exists that specifically directs the driver to notify transit police rather than take the initiative himself, then, yes, he did the "wrong thing."

    Taking the initiative is different from self-defense, by the way -- a distinction that may be to subtle for the above readers.

    Finally, I can't imagine anyone other than the guy who got thrown off the bus who doesn't feel in his or her heart a great big "THANK YOU, DRIVER!" -- for all the reasons the commentators above did get right. I hope the transit authority takes this into consideration. This driver looks like he ought to be a keeper.