A Baltimore bus driver has been suspended after a video showing her manhandling a young passenger went viral.
- (PHOTO) Youtube: sweetkarma12able
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) confirmed Tuesday that the unidentified bus driver, who was captured in the video lunging at an unidentified high school student, had been removed from duty following a police investigation into the bizarre incident.
In the video the 9-year transportation veteran is seen getting into a violent scuffle with the female passenger as horrified passengers flee. After receiving criticism from onlookers, the bus driver is heard saying that the dispute was "about being disrespectful."
MTA spokesman Terry Owens confirmed that both the driver and the female passenger, who was seen kicking and punching the driver, have been interviewed by authorities.
"Police will review the YouTube video. They are also pulling the video from the bus to see if it provides a more thorough picture of what happened," Owens told The Baltimore Sun.
He also explained that all MTA drivers are informed about the MTA's "very clear" no violence policy regarding engaging with disorderly passengers.
"While they receive some conflict-resolution training, our procedure is for operators not to engage a passenger if there's a problem on a bus," Owens said. "Our operators are trained to call a supervisor. If there appears to be any serious threat of bodily harm, then they are expected to call radio dispatch and have a police officer come to the scene."
The case is reminiscent to a recent assault incident involving Cleveland bus driver Artis Hughes, 59, and 25-year-old passenger Shi'dea Lane. Hughes, a 25-year transportation veteran, made national headlines when he gave Lane an uppercut for spitting him and striking him in the head.
"It's amazing to see how a man would hit a woman that hard. Are you serious? You could have pulled me off the bus," Lane told My Fox 8 News.
Hughes was immediately suspended after video footage of the incident went viral on social networking sites. He was later fired and charged with assault while Lane was charged with disorderly conduct.
"I feel let down," Hughes said at a press conference. "I feel like they should support their drivers. I was just trying to do my job!"