RAW: Bus Driver Punches Man Boarding in Phoenix
A bus driver and a young man apparently exchanging blows was all caught on camera. It happened at the Montebello and 19th Avenue bus stop. A woman who witnessed the whole thing and caught a part of it on her cell phone before calling the police.
The violent video shows a phoenix bus driver repeatedly punching a passenger and slamming the man's head against the bench, all after throwing him off the bus just moments before.
"Honestly I didn't know if he knew how to stop the way he was hitting this kid and repeatedly swinging at him. I didn't think he was going to stop," said Desirae Madrid.
Passenger Desirae Madrid caught the fight on her cell phone before Phoenix police arrested the bus driver Friday afternoon.
45-year-old Todd Allen Shields now faces charges for assault.
"I was so mad that he would do something like that. These are people you are supposed to trust with your life everyday you get onto the bus," said Madrid.
Phoenix police say it started after the 21-year-old victim tried boarding the bus with a reduced fair ticket for minors.
The bus driver demanded an id, but the passenger refused.
Then came an exchange of verbal blows before the bus driver took the matter into his own hands.
"The bus driver stood up and picked him up to where the kid's feet was literally off the floor and threw him out and I just remember seeing the kid fly off the other side of the little block that's there and his feet were literally in the air," said Madrid.
The driver is an employee of Veolia Transportation Services, the company contracted with the city to manage bus service.
The company says, "The driver is on investigative leave pending the completion and outcome of our formal investigation..."
"I hope that the bus driver loses his job and can't work with public," said Madrid.
The 21-year-old is OK; police say he suffered minor injuries.
The driver faces a series of charges,including, disorderly conduct and one count of criminal damage for allegedly breaking the victim's cell phone.
Full statement from the City of Phoenix:
"Passenger safety is important to the City of Phoenix and we regret any situation that results in anything less than a high level of customer service while passengers are using the Valley Metro transit system. Veolia Transportation Services is contracted to the city to manage a portion of its bus service; this includes the employment and disciplinary process for their bus operators. We are reviewing the situation with Veolia to ensure they take appropriate action."