Cleveland bus driver suspended for punching teenage passenger

By Matt Williams, The Guardian
Friday, October 12, 2012 16:59 EDT
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Cleveland bus fight video via WorldStarHipHop
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Clip posted online shows woman shouting at the driver before being knocked to the floor and bustled off the bus

A Cleveland bus driver who delivered a vicious uppercut to a female passenger during a video-taped confrontation (WARNING: GRAPHIC) has been suspended and removed from duty, the city’s transport authority said Friday.

In a clip posted online, the unidentified woman – thought to be a teenager – is seen berating the driver before being floored by the man with a single punch and violently bustled off the bus.

“I don’t care. She want to be a man, I’m going to treat you like a man,” the driver is heard shouting, as other passengers protest against her treatment.

The altercation was recorded by another passenger, and is now part of an investigation into the incident.

The initial cause of the confrontation is not apparent during the clip posted on WorldStarHipHop.com.

What is captured is the lead-up to the punch, during which the female passenger is heard calling the driver a “nigger” and a “bitch” during an exchange of insults between the two.

She then appears to approach the driver’s booth, but the image is obscured by a bystander and it is unclear what exactly happens. It is immediately followed by the driver getting to his feet and punching the passenger with a powerful uppercut.

In the struggle, it appears that the city employee has his hands around her neck before bundling the woman off the bus. Amid screams from other passengers, a voice – presumably the female passenger who has been struck – is heard shouting: “You going to jail, bitch”.

In a statement, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said: “The RTA saw the video posted on YouTube of the operator incident on October 11. Through the investigation, we believe the incident occurred on September 18. Upon identifying the driver, he was immediately suspended and removed from duty.

“His behaviour is absolutely unacceptable. The RTA apologises to our customers for this incident. A full investigation continues.”

© Guardian News and Media 2012

[Image via World Star Hip-Hop.com]

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