Metrobus Driver Arrested for Assaulting Passenger

by ARLnow.com April 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm 9,117 73 Comments

A Metrobus driver was arrested on Friday after allegedly assaulting a passenger in Courthouse.

The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. near Courthouse Plaza, on the 38B bus from Ballston to Farragut Square.

“An adult male passenger reported that the bus operator of the 38B bus physically removed him from the bus in the 2300 block of Clarendon Boulevard, following an altercation,” Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato told ARLnow.com. The passenger suffered a broken arm and was taken to a local hospital.

“The bus operator continued on his route and reported the incident to his supervisor. He was asked to hold his bus at the Pentagon, where he was arrested,” Asato said. “The operator has been with Metro since Sept. 2000. He is currently on paid administrative leave.”

No word yet on whether charges have been formally filed against the bus driver.

  • .T-G.E.O.A

    This guy was probably on time too.

  • novasteve

    Isn’t it proper for a bus driver to remove a passenger involved in an altercation?

    Hopefully his union will provide him a good defense.

    • Eric

      Nope. Drivers are supposed to stop the bus and call for police….to prevent just this. Now this ‘victim’ is probably sue WMATA for thousands.

      • BookGuy

        I was on a bus in San Francisco last year and a fellow got on, didn’t have money for the fare, solicited it from a few passengers, and later, when the bus came to a quick stop, complained to the driver that the stop had forced him to drop a lot of the change he had. The driver stopped the bus, told the passengers to get off, and went out of service until the police came.

        • Josh S

          Seems reasonable.
          Lesson was probably lost on the guy, though…..

  • sunflower

    must have been one of arlnow’s belligerant posters

    • Sandy

      Good one.

      I’ve seen Metro drivers tapping on their Blackberry phones, but never thought they might be posting on ArlNow. LOL.

      • sunflower

        actually i meant the passenger–but i like yours better

    • Patrick

      Or if you have read the Washington Times exposé on Metro personnel and their culture you would be surprised more Metro employees aren’t arrested.

      • darx

        But that’s not Metro!! That is just the people who work at Metro!!!

        • drax

          Lame try.

        • sunflower

          is this the evil twin?

      • Mark

        I had a metro bus driver flip me the bird as my pregnant wife and i tried to cross 23rd St. We had to jump back on the side walk because he speed up going down the hill when he saw us coming up to the crosswalk.

        • brian

          and you failed to report the incident with bus # and time of day because you didn’t want him to lose his job?

          metro would have pulled the video tapes and reviewed the incident

          • Mark

            I called and because it was a sunday they didn’t want to take my information. The operator then put me to voicemail and I was never called back.

          • Stan

            That’s pretty consistent with the WT article.

  • SomeGuy

    If this is anything like a past incident, WMATA will suspend the guy until after the noise about it dies down. Then they’ll reinstate him a few months later and include back pay for the months during which he was suspended.

    That said, it’s still not clear whether the passenger deserved to be “physically removed” in this instance.

    • drax

      In this past incident, you have personal knowledge that the guy deserved different treatment? Or you’re just blowing smoke based on conjecture?

      • SomeGuy

        Did you consider my comment below about an assault on an officer dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog? Or did you just jump to conclusions based on your predisposition to be disagreeable?

        • drax

          I read your comment below, which you posted after I posted this one. Thanks. I responded below.

          If you know more about this than an independent arbitrator who looked at all the facts in detail, by all means, share with us.

          • SomeGuy

            I know that he “was fired after he pulled over his bus and punched an off-duty police officer in costume as crime-fighting McGruff. He was fired for violating Metro’s workplace violence policy and later found guilty of simple assault.”

            I can’t comment on whether the independent arbitrator knew that. And it’s still not clear to me what point you’re trying to make.

          • drax

            “I can’t comment”

            No, you get my point now.

          • SomeGuy

            Well then, where do you get off saying the independent arbitrator “looked at all the facts in detail.” You have personal knowledge that the arbitrator looked at every fact? In detail?

          • drax

            You’re right, I’m wildly assuming that arbitrators look at facts in detail.

          • SomeGuy

            So… when I make one of those “personal knowledge” arguments in the style of yours, i.e. suggesting that you can’t draw common sense conclusions based on reputably published facts because you weren’t actually there, you think it’s foolish?

            We might be getting somewhere here, drax.

          • drax

            No, we’re not getting anywhere.

    • NrNy2ArlVa

      Passenger was probably eating or drinking.

      • Tubby

        Nah, the driver’s don’t care about that.

    • SomeGuy

      I was referring to the McGruff incident linked here:

      As you can see, it’s not an isolated incident.

      • drax

        And as you can see if you read it carefully, an independent arbitrator ordered the reinstatements, not Metro.

        • SomeGuy

          What’s your point? Regardless of which specific entity ordered reinstatement, the outcome is the same. WMATA reinstated him.

          • drax

            You don’t think it matters that Metro actually wanted to fire these people but were ordered not to? You don’t think it’s extremely misleading when you said WMATA did this, as if they were just letting these people get away with it?

          • SomeGuy

            You’re right. I probably should have filed a FOIA request for the employee’s entire personnel file along with any management emails mentioning the employee, then scanned it, posted it to the web, and linked to my 38-page timeline and description of what led to said employee’s termination and rehire, including transcripts of the personnel hearing, and list of every individual involved in influencing said outcome. Silly me.

            Instead I just mentioned the conclusion in my comment, i.e. he still works for WMATA after assaulting an officer while on duty.

          • x

            Put your mice down and fight already you two!

          • drax

            You implied that Metro was being soft on these employees, when actually, Metro wanted to fire them.

            I clarified that.

            We’re done.

          • SomeGuy

            I might have implied that the system is soft. I didn’t attribute softness to anyone in particular. That was a conclusion you jumped to on your own.

          • drax

            I don’t think you intentionally implied it. You just didn’t bother to read your own link.

      • This is How we do it

        That McGruff got what was comin’ to him

    • South Awwwlington

      Some passengers need to be removed.

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    To ArlNow – You sure the driver was asked to hold bus at Pentagon, since the 38B doesn’t go that way.

  • Ballston Resident

    Car Free Diet, now with more broken arms!

    Love you WMATA! smooch

  • Patrick
    • Wow

      That’s quite an article – don’t know how I missed it before.

      • drax

        It was in the Washington Times. Of course you missed it.

    • Ed

      Sloppy article. First page says average metro worker pay is $60k, to $69k with overtime; second page mentions a “senior supervisor” who supposedly makes $62k. One of those must be a typo. I can’t take it seriously.

  • Lunch Box

    No ticket.

    • Banksy

      Was that an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade reference?? If so, I salute you, sir/madam/box.

      • Lunch Box

        It was indeed! I also was willing to accept, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and, “That movie with Han Solo in it, you know the one I’m talking about!”

  • Greg
  • Steamboat Willie

    I’m a regular 38B rider, so when I saw that this was the route in question, I was convinced that the driver involved is the surly and burly woman I most often encounter in the mornings. Alas, the driver in this alleged incident apparently is a man.

    But the woman I’m thinking about is hands down the rudest Metro employee I’ve seen in my 10+ years of riding the system.

    • South of 50

      With few exceptions, metro bus drivers are the most passive-aggressive people on the roads. It is sad that sometimes they can not control their anger and lash out at people like this.

      But like your morning female driver, they do not always have to physically confront somebody to let them know just how much they dislike them. Such pitiful little raging people.

    • sunflower

      love the surly, burly

      • nunya

        who wouldnt like a surly, burly women cuddle them.

        • Manfred Mann

          did she ask you if you needed a ride?

      • DarkHeart

        Does she play a hurdy gurdy?

        • sunflower

          only when there’s hurly- burly!

  • WeiQiang

    OK, so a year or so ago, I left Gold’s South Arlington and stopped by the ABC store down the strip … like ya’ do. A MetroBus driver came in behind me, checked out behind me, and we walked back in the direction of Gold’s. I got in my car. He walked passed and got back in to the “Out Of Service” MetroBus that he had parked – flashers on – on S. Lang Street. He drove off and turned on to Glebe, in the direction of the bus lot at Eads & Glebe.

    Wonder if there’s a policy against that.

    • nom de guerre

      I believe it is illegal to transport alcohol in a commercial vehicle (including buses) unless it is part of the manifested shipment-which means the product being transported. Since buses only transport people I don’t see how this would be legal.

      • nom de guerre

        insert “for the driver.”

    • Matt

      I’ve seen “out of service” metro busses parked on the side of Crystal Drive all the time, “running” into the Chick-fil-a (just saw another one tonight in fact). Blocks one of the two car lanes, and the bike lane. And I’m sure that the gas used by Metro drivers to run their errands doesn’t help with Metro’s budget problems.

  • cranky crankypants

    you mean I can’t pick up a 6 pack at 7-11 and ride the bus toward the crankyhouse?

    • Just Me

      You can but I don’t think the driver can.

  • Melville

    Dying to know what that passenger did to get himself thrown off the bus.

    I’ve been riding a Metrobus express route for 6 years and 90% of the drivers are that route are pretty awesome. Love the guy who leads the bus in Christmas carols in December. And the guy who kept us all laughing during snowpocalypse. And nearly all of them greet you with a “Good morning” when you get on the bus.

    • Tabs

      16Y guy! Where has he been?

      “Slow way, or fast way?” (AKA we’re on Washington Blvd, should we take the off ramp or go to silly Pershing and wait at the light)

      Riders yell “fast way!”

      Closer to E Street, the games begin. “OK, in Welcome Back Kotter, who played Epstein? Winner gets a free ride tomorrow.”

      • Josh S

        Man, I need to ride that bus more often!!

  • Akashi

    As a frequent 38B rider, I can tell you that there are far more problem passengers than drivers. Twenty percent of the riders have no intention of paying, are drunk or drugged, are commuting between the cheaper booze sources in DC and the safer shelters or sleeping sites in Arlington, etc. Loud, disruptive drunks and others who refuse to pay the fare are so common that few 38Bs could run an entire route if the driver called the police for each drunk, disorderly, or refusing to pay passenger. None of this is intended to defend drivers in acting like ship captains with police powers “at sea,” but that route really needs regular undercover officers.

    • ClarendonBlvd


    • Steamboat Willie


      Despite my earlier posting, I also agree with your observations about some of the passengers on the 38B. Some mornings, I feel as if I might catch a buzz from the secondhand booze breath of the passengers in the back. And of course, these guys usually take up two seats during the morning rush.

      Still no excuse for how rude this one particular driver is to the rest of us who are simply trying to get to work in the District.

  • Tabs

    And yes, in general, Metrobus drivers are great–friendly, safe, and professional.

    • I agree. Well, the drivers don’t have to be friendly. I want to the buses to be on time, keep the Nextbus thingy on, and get from one place to another safely. My only real complaint in general are drivers who drive to fast on the HOV lanes to the Shirlington exit. Some of them go WAY too fast.

  • Deb

    ARLNOW wrote: “An adult male passenger reported that the bus operator of the 38B bus physically removed him from the bus in the 2300 block of Clarendon Boulevard, following an altercation”

    Seems we do not know if there was a fight on board…if passengers were in danger…or what. I think we need to see the police report and get the facts in order to judge this bus driver.


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