The man was arrested after authorities say he hit a 65-year-old bus driver, during a trip on Seattle’s First Hill. Dozens of Metro Transit drivers were assaulted last year.
Deputies arrested a man suspected of punching a King County Metro Transit bus driver in the face Tuesday morning, in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood.
The man, 39, was shouting and cursing aboard Route 3, near the corner of Ninth Avenue and Jefferson Street, around 8:15 a.m., according to Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office, which patrols the transit system.
Witnesses said the driver told the man to calm down, or he would have to get off the bus, according to West.
Instead, the man struck the 65-year-old bus driver once, leaving a cut above one eye, before stepping off the bus, she said.
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He was booked into jail on suspicion of third-degree assault. State law deems that an attack against an on-duty transit employee is a felony.
Metro reports that 67 transit operators were assaulted in the first nine months of 2015, and says the numbers are gradually decreasing. More than 400,000 passengers a day ride its buses.