SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bus driver in Oregon was charged with strangulation and assault after he allegedly put a Black passenger into a chokehold and rendered him unconscious, a district attorney said Thursday.
Authorities say Michael Brinster tried to eject passenger Dorian Allstot from the bus on Aug. 20 because he wasn’t wearing shoes. When Allstot did not leave, “Brinster choked Allstot to unconsciousness” and dragged him outside the bus, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said.
Hummel said in a statement that Allstot is Black and Brinster is white. The incident happened in Bend, which has been the scene of several Black Lives Matter protests, stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
After the driver pulled Allstot from the bus, authorities say he did not call for medical assistance. Allstot quickly regained consciousness, allegedly challenged the driver to a fight, pulled out a knife and spat at Brinster. When police came, they arrested Allstot but not Brinster.
Hummel said he made his charging decision after viewing videos of the incident.
“The actions of this bus driver were shocking and criminal,” Hummel said. “He approached a passenger in an aggressive, disrespectful and violent manner, all because the passenger was wearing socks but no shoes.”
Hummel also charged Allstot with harassment and menacing.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Brinster or Allstot had attorneys.