New York City Mulling Using DNA To Catch Riders Who Spit On Bus Drivers

Forensic Expert: Saliva Would Be Swabbed, Run Through Felon Database

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This crime was once considered rare: New York City bus drivers assaulted by people who spit on them.

But it’s so commonplace today, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering a plan to collect saliva samples from the scene of each disgusting crime to catch the spitters, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

It happened to bus driver Lesley Davis. She was attacked by a young woman rider who did not like being told to stand behind the line.

“She would leave me a gift before she left the bus. She spit on me,” Davis said. “I felt violated.”

The MTA has confirmed incidents of spitting on transit workers, usually on buses but also on trains, are happening about 14 times every month.

“He was stepping off the bus, turned around and spit at me,” bus driver Jorge Medrano said.

“How can this be happening on the bus?” West Side resident Valerie Medina wondered.

The MTA is considering a DNA initiative, patterned after one in Boston. With every driver getting a kit to collect samples.

“Opens up the package, swabs the area,” John Jay College forensics expert Lawrence Kobilinsky told Carlin.

Kobilinsky said after the sample goes to the lab, the results can be run through a database of convicted felons. Or if a suspect is found some other way, a DNA match can send the spitter to the slammer.

“If one or two get caught this way it would send out a shockwave amongst the public and they would stop this disgusting act,” said Transit Workers Union spokesman Richard Fields.

Some bus riders said they are skeptical about the plan because they are worried about the cost and wonder if the money could be better spent on cameras for each bus and partitions to protect the drivers.

“A lot of money being wasted on things like this and not on really solving the problem of stopping before it actually happens,” Harlem resident Walter Koch said.

“We put our lives in their hands, basically, and we should pay attention to them and their needs,” added Tom Healey of Riverdale.

MTA workers said they want the new shields, cameras and the DNA, all of it to lick this sickening crime pattern and make their jobs safer.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is pushing for the plan, and confirmed that the samples would be handled by the same labs that test DNA in rape and murder cases. The DA’s spokesman said the additional cases would not overwhelm the system.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • JohnPA2006

    The drivers need to be encased in bullet resistant clear panels, and be able to get into and out of the bus from their own door. or in emergency get out the normal way the passengers leave. This way the driver can do his job, and drive.
    and still be able to see whats going on in the bus.

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  • Glenn

    99.99 % of the people who spit on bus drivers are black or hispanic……………What does that say? Wake up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • roger gilds

    I’m a bus oparater in reno nv. we have a camera system call drivecam it works very well maybe all other tranist company should look in to putting them on all bases. good luck!!!!!

  • expertainer

    Spitting on someone in NYC is a sign of respect.

  • Walter Billings

    Under the guidance of the arch-leftist and wimpish Bloomberg, NYC is rapidly approaching anarchy and chaos. One would have to wacko to live there nowadays.

  • Walter Billings

    Under the guidance of the arch-leftist and wimpish Bloomberg, NYC is rapidly approaching anarchy and chaos. One would have to wacko to live there nowadays.

  • Walter Billings

    Under the guidance of the arch-leftist and wimpish Bloomberg, NYC is rapidly approaching anarchy and chaos. One would have to wacko to live there nowadays.


    The money could be better spent for sure! Apparently, the buses don’t even have basic hardware-type protection, the shields and cameras, for goodness sakes! LETS GET REAL, FOLKS!

  • Mark

    How Surprising for NYC

    “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our desire to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”

    James D. Watson

  • Michael H.

    All these people here are bashing NYC, saying they’ll never come here and how horrible the city is. What are you doing on a LOCAL NYC news website? Don’t you people have better things to do with your time? Don’t you have jobs? Families? Pets? Hobbies?

    If you hate our fine city so much please do us all a favor and STAY OUT. If you don’t want to come here, we don’t want you here. You’re pathetic.

    • boohoobitch

      New York sucks and it’s fun to poke fun at you guys because you’re such hotheaded reactionary asshats. Case in point.

      • jrey762


        Come on now, the poor animals don’t really know they are in a zoo for the rest of us to gawk at and make fun of. They still think they have free will LOL!!!

      • Michael H.

        So, no job, no hobbies, no families, no pets. Nothing better to do than troll a local news comment section. Got it. Enjoy your sad little existence.

  • oscar banduzzy

    duh arm the bus drivers slap a video cam on there. the rider spits on the driver. the driver shoots the rider, the video shows it all and one less dumbass on the planet. problem solved.

  • Blasterific

    I am hungry.

  • Not this sheep

    No access to firearms, blind love for Barry Soetoro, continued flooding with non-integrating welfare seeking foreigners, billions in debt, brutal police force. This isn’t going to end well at all. Will be watching the show on satellite TV as I chomp on fresh mangoes.

  • The Gun Makes The Law

    NYC is a horrible place and i suspect will be rife with murder and cannibalism as the government collapses. Tolls, fees, taxes, cameras, warrantless searches, and now DNA? Your police look like a private storm trooper army better suited for smashing skulls in Nazi Germany – I’ve watched the brutality videos on Russia Today and elsewhere. Anybody living there better have an exit strategy…

    • Blasterific

      I’ll be in my basement eating munchos.

    • JT

      The Gun Makes The Law: I HOPE you’re trying out new comedy material? No one can be that dumb.

  • Grapes of wrath are stored

    Ghetto people are like ravenous rabid wolves roaming among lambs, they really deserve to be confined to an area where white liberals and other feral ghetto people reside. They are so much more dangerous than bears and panthers that roam our woods in the south, that if you think about it are of less value than a dead dog.

    • Dean

      I’m thinking of John Carpenter’s ‘Escape From New York’ at this point…

    • Chu

      LOL…..Whwere in the south did you see bears and panthers?

      Nice putting down fellow human beings, by generalizing and making blanket statement. I wonder if your forefathers were once immigratants or did they just drop from the sky?

  • nunya

    Ahh yes, the intelligence of liberalism. All its fruit is coming to bear in America.

  • stan_in_usa

    what about people stone drunk and puke on the drivers shoes?

    • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

      Spitting, puking and urinating on government workers is funny. Can we please defecate on them, too?

      • Lil Brick

        “LaVonte d’Ashawn Jackson IV”: With such an apparent perpetuated name, must be an idiot. If you think this behavior is funny, then go ahead and carry it out or continue to encourage such offenses. I’m certain that to you, there are lots of things that are “funny”. I know you have a great deal of time to spend on these low thoughts. Just so that you know, just because someone drives a bus, doesn’t make them a government worker. But you may want to think about such an offense the next time you call the police/fire dept and need some help.
        Frankly, I think you should have never been conceived. Does your mother and father feel the same way that I do?

        • Dawg57

          Lil Brick- I believe that comment was sarcastic though ill thought out

          • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

            No, it was serious.

            • Blah


              Please explain how you would feel if what you are saying happened to you or your loved ones. Never mind, you have no self respect and no loved ones; hence, all the hatred

              • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

                Parasitic liberal losers work for the government and vote for democrats to preserve their government teet. Loser.

  • Mike

    “But it’s so commonplace today, :

    Really. 25 years in the city (and I don’t own a car so that means a lot of bus rides) and I’ve never seen it, heard of it (until the article) or know anyone that knows anyone that has seen it or mentioned it.

    Also, greatest city in the world. And like many NYrs, I’ve been around the globe.

    • David B

      I live in the Tampa Bay area. We have a LOT of NYCity people here. The reason I know is they tell everybody without being asked. All big cities suk and NYCity suks the most. Who was pitcher that told the truth about the place and caught holy hell for it? NYCity is a giant lib pos. The real joke is NYCity peeps think and believe they are smart. Q: If you are so smart how come you vote dem? No conceal gun laws?

      • John

        We do that because the last thing we want is for people to think we were actually raised in some bu f**k town in Florida.

        The pitcher you’re thinking of is John Rocker. Rocker spat on a Georgia 400 toll machine and mocked Asian women. Also, he supposedly referred to black teammate Randall Simon as a “fat monkey.” n March 2007, Rocker was implicated in a steroid ring that included Applied Pharmacy of Mobile, Alabama.

        That was a really good example you sited there David.

        • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

          New Yorkers make FL so repulsive . Two classes of people destroy the livability of a city: section 8 and New Yorkers. So how’s FL doing today? Hmmmm? Bwahhahahahahahah!!!

  • keydl

    The correct solution is to issue .25 auto guns to the drivers so they can return fire.and collect the DNA at treatment for the shot to be placed in the national database for anti-social behavior to serve as a first strike felony.

    Also allow trained drivers to carry major caliber for self defence if the spittor gets mad at being shot.

    It is past time to thin the herd of gansters – put a bounty on their scalps.

  • Nita

    MTA bus drivers can be very nasty people with attitudes. They think it’s OK to talk to people anyway they want. It so crazy but I would never think to spit on them or anyone else. This is a nasty and disgusting thing to do and I hope they are able to find anyone who would do this to a driver.

  • For

    Yet another way to become a Felon in Jail York. Thanks but no thanks

  • Francis Kelly Jr

    I’m a lib. Spit is harmless. It’s loaded with natural antibiotics.

    • oscar banduzzy

      You’re a typical LIb all right. No knowledge of what you’re talking about.

    • Rob

      Your a brainless lib too. Saliva is contaminated with thousands of potentially contagious viruses and germs, especially if they pull up a big ol yellow hocker before they spit. I think DNA test is going too far. All the city is dong is using this as an excuse to gather the DNA of all residents to file with the National Crime Registry. If the spitter ever rapes or bleeds on someone anywhere in the US he/she will be nabbed. Perhaps they should fine the spitters $1000 for spitting on the driver or the Bus.

      • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

        Brainless lib is redundant.

  • David Maxwell

    I had the displeasure of experiencing New York in 1994. On Feb. 2 I received a call from a female friend and fellow Californian. Sobbing, she said her dad had been murdered, and would I accompany her to NYC to sort stuff out. Phil lived in NYC his entire life, and on this particular afternoon was delivering medications for Catholic Charities on his bicycle. He was in his sixties as I recall and very fit. After the delivery he was crossing the Horace Harding Blvd returning to queens. He was approached by 3 black boys, described by a witness as around 13 or 14, who pulled out a gun and put a 38 slug in his brain. They slaughtered him for $85. The week that followed was like an episode from the twilight zone and I won’t bother you with the dark details. When we departed that hellhole of filth and degradation I asked the stewardess to inquire at what time we passed the point of no return, and then, and only then, could I be assured there was no way we would return to the pit called New York City. His murder remains unsolved. By the way, that was the last week I called myself a liberal.

    Philip Sauvageau ?-1994 RIP

    • Jack Chavez

      That’s a sad story about your friend. I hope is killers got what was coming to them.

      • nunya

        Most likely, the took the 85 dollars and spent it on a less than civil activity, IE drugs, drinking or sex. Then, they got into their nice cars, called their babys momma on their free gov cells, and went shopping for food on our dime.

        God bless liberalism for all the tangible benefits it has provided in our country. Oh wait, it hasnt. Nevermind.

  • Carlos

    Ahhh, New York city , land of libreal democrats.

  • Bamboozled & hoodwinked

    When oh when God, do these vermin fear us more than we fear them?

  • Go to Hades Ghetto gangstas

    Let a bus driver shoot one of these spitters(worse than the dinasaur variety) and then see the support and aclaim the bus driver gets from the civilized citizens(non-ghetto)and then and only then will it stop. If on a jury, I will not convict any non-ghetto citizen for shooting any thug/gangsta ghetto POS that threatens or hurts another citizen so help me GOD.

    • Bunky

      They are going the whole hog on this so it has to be white on black.
      White spitters and black drivers.
      Imagine DNA tests for rape, murder, and ……… spitting.
      It must be a HATE crime.
      If it were reversed it wouldn’t make the news.

  • Markllar

    Issue the drivers a gun and allow them to use it!

  • Me

    I would rather be SHOT IN THE FACE by the Taliban than to visit NYC and spend money there, not only for the Policed State that it has become, but for the trash that lives there and put’s up with it. Imagine Fascist AMERIKA where you have to give a DNA sample before riding a public bus.

    • Michael H.

      Don’t spit on a bus driver if you don’t want a DNA sample collected.

    • Nyskater

      Re-read the article. You misunderstood.

  • Miyegombo Bayartsogt

    Clearly, for a cesspool of crass culture like New York City, the simple solution is to put the drivers inside spit-proof plexiglass cages of the sort they have at convenience stores. To further encourage riders who might feel an antisocial urge to be overly generous with unwelcome bodily fluids, mandatory spit shields like prisons use should be required wearing for a certain class of passenger on metro public transport.

  • sw

    What a S*it Hole!!

    • 12% beating the 88% somehow

      Imagine if America had 90% ghetto people and 10% human. The humans would all have been raped( male & female), if not already killed.

      • Rob

        We are well on our way. When the Democrats and Obama get through with their distribution scheme, instead of 47% ghetto we’ll have 90% ghetto people who don’t pay taxes and the 10% who support the others will be raped everyday. Once the 10% wealthiest Americans are broke then the whole Nation will be a ghetto. It will kind of look like Bombay, India.

        • Michael H.

          You mean it will look like Mumbai (it hasn’t been called Bombay since 1995). I’d say that is quite the compliment, as Mumbai is one of the top 10 financial centers in the world, as well as the home of most of India’s film industry, along with 70% of its maritime trade and a full quarter of the country’s industrial output. Mumbai is a flourishing city.

          You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Thomas Muir

    dont worry everyone of course all DNA profiles collected will be forwarded to the FBI or some other national database, you know just in case; and of course they will compare it to every unknown profile they have in there database.

    if you’ve never done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. I’m waiting for that portable DNA scanner, getting speeding ticket, get your DNA collected

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    New York is done, over rated and nothing as it was 40 years ago. It’s as some old movie star that still thinks they’re relevant.

    Degenerate, decrepit and in total decay. Escape from New York.

  • Randy Brown

    isn’t it true that the police in NYC have a backlog of DNA test from real crimes waiting to be completed. this seems like a real act of stupidity

  • Klaus

    Bloomberg might as well order his buses to drive his subjects directly to the FEMA camps for extermination. Coca-Cola, Ford, GM, Disney, and Prescott Bush all supported the Nazis during WWII. Global police state in 5, 4, 3, 1 … off blast.

  • Gunny G Alz

    HAHAHA! BIG BROTHER BLOOMBUTT at work! Whattya gonna do Bloomie, cheek swab em all? FUGEDABOUTIT!

    Well domne NY’ers. Only voting for Obumbutt is worse.

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