DETROIT – A video shows intense moments between a bus driver and passenger on board a Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) bus.
The incident on Sept. 8 led bus drivers across the city to walk out on the job earlier Friday morning after the city suspended the driver.
The video of the physical altercation is now the center of an investigation. The driver is facing a 29-day suspension without pay, pending investigation.
"It’s been an extremely rough day,” said Mikel Oglesby, executive director of Transportation with the city of Detroit.
Oglesby said that is an understatement after 288 bus drivers walked off the job Friday morning. The drivers are claiming unclean conditions and an unfair suspension of their fellow bus driver, who they said is a victim of an assault.
“What was clear was that the operator did strike the citizen and that was a concern to me,” Oglesby said.
Local 4 News obtained video from inside the bus. Oglesby said the driver asked the rider to put on his mask and waited for the rider to do so.
“After a while, the driver doesn’t pull off yet and the rider comes up and makes a statement," Oglesby said.
The video appears to show the driver punching the rider first, multiple times, even slamming him to the ground. You then see the driver sitting on top of him. Minutes later, the driver gets up and the rider staggers away.
Local 4 News reached out to the Bus Union. A spokesperson said the drivers face unfair conditions and they have been for some time. The spokesperson said the drivers face unfair conditions and they have been for some time. They are simply fed up.
There is a news conference at 9 a.m. Saturday.