Punched in the Face on the 358

By Tom Fucoloro May 7, 2010

I love the northbound 358. The third-busiest Metro bus route, it's fast, it comes often and something exciting nearly always happens during the ride. On one trip just last week I saw three people get arrested in two completely unrelated incidents (two were too drunk, one tried to get off without paying and transit cops chased him down). But one passenger's trip during the afternoon on May 3 got a little too exciting when a roudy woman, part of a group witnesses said were loud and intoxicated, punched him in the face.

Witnesses said a group of four intoxicated people waiting for the northbound 358 at 46th and Aurora were being loud and obnoxious, according to the police report. When the bus arrived, an unknown male who was with the group at the time fell in the aisle, and the bottle of wine on his person broke and spilled on a passenger. The four of them continued to be rude, upsetting and intimidating other passengers.

One guy asked them to behave themselves, and the suspect flipped out and pushed him into his seat. When the victim attempted to stand up, the suspect punched him in the face several times, causing a laceration above his left eye that started bleeding profusely.

The bus driver stopped the bus at N 72nd St and Linden Ave N at the northwest end of Green Lake and the assailant and her friends fled. The victim at first denied medical treatment and hopped in the car with an officer to try to find the suspect.

Witnesses who saw the assault and had switched to a different 358 bus saw the suspect and friends (this time apparently without the wine-covered male) get onto their bus near N 74th and Aurora. The witnesses alerted the bus driver, who called 911. The officer, with the suspect in the car, arrived at N 90th and Aurora just as the suspect and friends were exiting the bus.

The victim identified the suspect and that officer placed her under arrest. She said she was acting in self defense, and when she saw the cut on his face, she said something like, "God I did that?" according to the report. She then said the victim had called her a bitch and cocked his fists as if to hit her. The report says that every witness refuted her account.

She is being investigated for assault, and she and her two friends are being investigated for disorderly conduct.

This was 4:45 p.m. on a Monday.

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