A bus owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was traveling on Albany Street near the Boston Medical Center early this morning when a male passenger demanded to be let off. The bus driver refused, as it was not an authorized bus stop, which agitated the passenger. The passenger then punched the driver in the side of the head and jumped out of the emergency window exit. The driver was treated for his injuries by Boston EMS and police continue to search for the passenger.
Unfortunately, this is not the first assault against an MBTA employee this month. A MBTA operator was spat on at the beginning of the month at the intersection of Washington Street and Harvard Street in Charlestown. MBTA employees are not surprised by these assaults as there has statistically been a rise of assaults annually. Transit police gave a picture of the suspect to the press in hopes of finding and prosecuting him.
Another incident occurred on Dudley Street and Hamden Street, when passenger Carlos A. Ramirez-Rodrigue entered the bus and started to verbally fight with the driver. After yelling a number of obscenities, the MBTA operator asked Ramirez-Rodrigue to leave the bus. Ramirez-Rodrigue responded by repeatedly spitting in the direction of the driver as he left the bus, and when the door to the bus closed, he began to punch the door causing the door window to shatter. He was subsequently arrested for damaging MBTA property as well as two counts of assault and battery. Sadly, there have been many incidents like this one involving the endangerment of MBTA employees this year, including a death that occurred last August.
Employees have not been the only people in harm’s way, however. Yesterday, a passenger approached police to report that there was a male who was being robbed near the busway of the MBTA Ashmont station. Only one of the assailants was caught and the victim was found. The assailant caught was determined to be a juvenile and placed into custody. The victim informed the police that he was walking with his motorcycle when he was approached by four men, one of which was armed, threatening to take his motorcycle from him. He then positively identified the only assailant that has been caught.
The MBTA Transit Police Department is working diligently to investigate all reported incidents and to ensure the safety of MBTA employees and passengers. While the police play an integral part of our safety, it is important for the public to play their role as well. As seen above, safety can be obtained through the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, which encourages the public to report crimes and identify suspects to assist the police fight against these horrific incidents. The more assailants that are caught, the safer our streets will be. Witnesses of the above incidents or anyone who has seen any of the assailants identified on the MBTA police website or in the news is encouraged to contact the MBTA police to assist in their ongoing investigations.
Source: Man Punches MBTA Driver and Then Jumps Out Bus Window, MetroDesk, Boston.com, October 18, 2012
MBTA Police Looking for Man Who Spit on Bus Driver, Bostlnno, October 11, 2012