Attack on Metro Driver Leads to Crash

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee January 19, 2012

Authorities say a Metro bus crash in the University District this morning was caused by a man who attacked a bus driver after refusing to pay his full fare.

According to Metro spokeswoman Linda Thielke, the incident started shortly after a man boarded the route 49 bus near NE 45th and 15th Ave NE around 6:oo am, and failed to pay his full fare. Peak Metro fare is $2.50, but the man paid only $1.50, a police source tells PubilCola.

When the driver told the man to pay up, the man began throwing punches at the driver, who drove off the road and crashed the bus.

A Seattle police officer was driving by the bus during the incident and was able to arrest the suspect. The driver was taken to the UW Medical Center.

There were several other passengers on the bus during the incident, Thielke says, but no one else was injured.

Thielke says Metro drivers are told not to argue with passengers over unpaid fares. "They're not cops. They're told to state it once, and not to prolong it," she says.

Thielke didn't have information on whether fare evasion had spiked in the last few days due to the weather.

Photo via Flickr.
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