MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Attacks against Community Transit drivers reveal potential troubling trend

Jun 21, 2024, 12:39 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

Photo: Snohomish County bus....

Snohomish County bus. (Photo courtesy Community Transit's Facebook Page)

(Photo courtesy Community Transit's Facebook Page)

Community Transit drivers in Snohomish County may be facing a growing threat from violent passengers. In the past three weeks, two drivers have been attacked.

A Community Transit spokesperson told KIRO Newsradio that on May 30, a man was arrested after spitting on a driver in unincorporated Snohomish County.

Then on June 17, a passenger got on the wrong bus, and then punched a driver in the face when the driver told him where to catch the right bus.

The Mountlake Terrace Police Department informed KIRO Newsradio that passenger was arrested on assault charges.

More local news: Lynnwood man creates costly photo opportunity in Yellowstone

Other recent attacks on drivers

Similar attacks are not limited to Snohomish County.

Five months ago in Bellevue, a 76-year-old King County Metro bus driver endured a harrowing assault at the intersection of Bellevue Way SE and Main Street.

The driver, an instructor working with a new recruit, encountered a disoriented man who wanted to go to Mercer Island. After being asked to leave the bus, the man violently attacked the instructor, beating him with a stick.

Nationwide, assaults against transit employees are on the rise, the Urban Institute reported late last year using National Transit Database data. In response, the Biden administration has announced measures to protect frontline transit workers, recognizing that assaults on bus drivers and other staff pose a significant hazard at the national level.

Passengers can play a crucial role in preventing incidents like these. Authorities say that if witnesses see aggressive behavior or violence, it should be reported immediately. In case of conflicts, riders are urged to remain calm and avoid engaging in arguments or physical altercations.

In addition, it is vital for riders to pay attention to their surroundings. If someone is acting aggressively, passengers should be prepared to react appropriately.

Contributing: Charlie Harger, KIRO Newsradio.

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here

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