By Cory James

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Surveillance photos show a suspect police say punched a New York City bus driver.

On Sunday, CBS2’s Cory James spoke with the Transport Workers Union, which says the violence on bus drivers has been rising since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus drivers are on high alert following attacks in recent months on workers behind the wheel.

Police released images of a woman who they say punched a bus driver in the face not once but twice. The incident happened last month in Greenwich Village near Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.

According to police, it started off as an argument before escalating to physical violence that left the driver with pain and swelling.

TWU Vice President Richard Davis said that driver did not want to speak, but is recovering at home.

“They’re doing okay, still a healing process, physically, emotionally, mentally,” Davis said.

It was another scary situation for a bus driver in a video recorded Friday. It captures a frightening moment on a bus as a man smashes multiple windows. That incident happened in Brooklyn just after midnight near Hendrix Street and Atlantic Avenue.

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Fear can be heard in the driver’s voice as he frantically waits on the phone for help to arrive.

Davis told CBS2 it is just another reminder that there needs to be a combined effort to fight the ongoing problem.

“Part of this is the homeless, part of it is the mentally ill, and part of it is people feel they can disrespect transit workers,” Davis said. “The government should do more. The Transit Authority has to do more.”

For now, police are hoping the public takes a good look at the pictures showing an alleged violent attacker who unleashed their rage during the middle of the day.

“One incident is too many. We come here to make a living and go home to our families safely,” Davis said.

Right now, all five of the city’s district attorneys are calling on the state to make any physical contact against a transit worker a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

The MTA also said more needs to be done to ensure the safety and security of those in transit, and also for those who need mental services.

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Anyone with information on the March 24 incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

Cory James