Police look for suspects in 'T' bus driver attack

Posted: 03/10/13 at 10:40 pm EDT      Last Updated: 03/11/13 at 11:07 pm EDT

DORCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- An MBTA bus driver was attacked by a group of nearly 20 teenagers during his route Saturday just after 1 a.m.

MBTA transit police said the Route 16 bus approached was approached at the Columbia Avenue stop. A group of teenagers stood in front of the bus, not letting it move forward. Officers said the teenagers went after the driver, who was still behind the wheel.

“Some members of the group attempted to board the bus, and some did,” said MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Joseph O’Connor said. “Others attempted to pull the operator through the window. The operator was punched several times.”

The driver, with passengers on his bus, pulled the emergency brake to stop the bus from crashing.

“That’s a real concern that passengers, the operator, and the general public, and even the suspects could have been injured if that bus had lunged forward and then struck someone,” said O’Connor.

Officials said just moments before the group appeared a female passenger, who had just boarded the bus, was arguing with the driver over the fare. Police are trying to figure out if the two incidents are related.

“The timing of the way things occurred, that’s something investigators are looking at,” said O’Connor.

Passengers who take the route 16 bus are still rattled by the attack.

“Just kids yelling,” said Phyllis Ivy, who heard the attack from her apartment.

“I think that’s crazy for something to happen without no one knowing about it in the bus. They should have a camera in the bus,” said Antonia Monteiro, an MBTA bus rider.

“It makes me angry and fearful because my kids -- I worry about,” said John Braxton, an MBTA bus rider.

The driver was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries.

Police are looking for suspects in this case. They encourage anyone with information or surveillance video to come forward.

The MBTA said a third of their fleet has cameras onboard, the bus did not. The MBTA is putting cameras on all of its newer buses. Investigators are looking for any surveillance in the neighborhood.

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