Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Caught on camera–dramatic and disturbing new video shows an MTA bus driver fighting with a passenger. Now the agency is taking action.
Mike Hellgren spoke with the woman who shot the video.
She says this was alarming to her as a regular rider. It happened at Baltimore and Paca streets Monday around 2 p.m. The driver is suspended without pay.
The video shows an MTA bus driver — who’s now been suspended — entangled in a fight with a high school student who was riding on her bus. That fight continues for roughly 30 more seconds as other passengers get out of the way. They struggled, moving from one end of the bus to the other, before things calmed down.
The bus driver went to the front while those who watched it unfold asked her how it happened.
The woman who shot the fight says it started when the driver thought the teenage passenger was playing her music too loudly and stopped the bus to confront her. She asked us to conceal her identity.
“The only thing she did physically was get up to get off the bus. The bus driver grabbed her and they started to fight,” she said.
She says she never met the teenager before, that the teen seemed shaken and had scratches and a bite mark on her arm after what happened.
“When she parked the bus, everything just went from zero to 60–that fast–to the argument,” she said.
The MTA says the driver has worked with the agency since 2003 and they are reviewing the video, as well as video from multiple cameras on board.
“We have a no engage policy. Under no circumstances should our operators be fighting customers,” said Terry Owens, MTA spokesperson. “At the MTA, our highest priority is the safety of our passengers and our employees and we expect our employees to remember that at all times.”
The MTA would not talk about the driver’s history or identify her. No charges have been filed.
The MTA also says the driver did write about the incident in her report, but her bosses had no idea how serious it was until they saw the video.