Police said the incident happened at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday near Fountain Avenue and Linden Boulevard in East New York, Brooklyn. A group of teenagers got into an argument with the driver of a B15 bus and before he knew it, one was punching him in the face, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.
Citizen video of the scene was taken just moments after the violent attack, as the driver was loaded into an ambulance waiting to take him to Brookdale Hospital.
“This unprovoked assault is appalling. We will do everything we can to assist the NYPD in bringing those responsible for this heinous attack to justice,” MTA Bus President Craig Cipriano said.
Right after the attack, Sarah Meyer, the chief customer officer for NYC Transit, took to Twitter.
Horrified to learn of another viscous, unprovoked attack on one of our bus operators, driving a B15 tonight. New York, we are better than this! Please keep him in your thoughts.
— Sarah Meyer (@SarahMeyerNYC) February 12, 2020
Moore spoke with some regular B15 bus riders who said they were horrified by the attack, but sadly not surprised.
“Terrible. These parents don’t have no control over these children,” said Carmencita Valentin of East New York.
“It shouldn’t be that they drive the bus and they have to think, oh my God, I might get hurt today. I might not get to come home to my family. It shouldn’t be happening,” Sabrina Ceballos added.
Both women stressed the need for more security on board MTA buses, and the transit workers union agrees.
“There’s something very wrong with our city when transit workers are violently attacked like this on a regular basis. Anyone who says we don’t need more police in the bus and subway system is clueless — – or just doesn’t care about working men and women being victimized,” Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “Transit workers are dedicated professionals who want to get their riders to their destinations safely. It’s outrageous that they can’t feel safe themselves while doing their job. This is a crisis that needs to be treated like a crisis.”
Police are still looking for the group of attackers. Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.