NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A driver attacked aboard a bus in the Bronx opened up about the harrowing ordeal on Wednesday.
He says it wasn’t the first time he’s had problems with the four teenagers who allegedly threw a bottle at him, kicked him in the chest, and spit at him before running away over the weekend.
“I got injured in my head from throwing a Snapple and actually my shoulder, I have a few pains coming back,” Burin Sylaj said.
The four teen boys have ridden the Liberty Lines M 60 bus before, according to Sylaj. He says they rarely pay their fares, and often shout expletives at him.
“My job is to tell them the fare is $2.75, and they verbally abuse me every time they use the bus and threaten me most of the time,” Sylaj said.
Police say the bus driver picked up the four young men in White Plains, but the attacks didn’t happen until they attempted to get off the bus in the Bronx.
“It’s nothing I’ve ever seen since I’ve been catching the bus here,” rider Naku Waller said. “I’m not gonna let the one bad situation stop me from catching the bus here.”
Union representatives received a request from Westchester County Executive George Latimer to fund and install partitions that protect drivers, just like in New York City. The union estimates it would cost between $2,000 and $3,000 per bus for their more than 300 buses.
“Every city bus has retrofitted partitions for the safety of bus operators,” TWU Local 100 Vice President Peter Roscni said. “We think Liberty Lines, and we will fight for Liberty Lines to get those same partitions in their buses.”
Sylaj says he’s not yet gotten back behind the wheel.
“It looks like a nightmare sometimes when you sleep and see things, like a drama,” he said.
Police say the four teens are between 16 and 19 years old. So far, no arrests have been made.