- Shoved to the ground. (Photo: YouTube/da1uwant09)
The mystery is solved. Earlier this week, I uncovered a video that's since exploded across the media. It showed what appeared to be a Metrobus driver who threw a passenger to the ground. Who was the man and was he truly a WMATA employee? It was tough to say, but WMATA's Dan Stessel told me they were launching an investigation.
It's paid off — according to City Paper, the driver has been identified.
The person who filmed the infamous video gave an account of what we now know was an August 31 incident to transit cops. Here's a fuller sense of what really happened, and it goes far deeper than a simple refusal to pay at the front of the bus:
August 31, 2011 at approximately 2031 hours while riding the U-5 bus en route to Lincoln Heights, a male patron boarded in the area of Minnesota Avenue, N.E. being loud and boisterous. C1 stated that the patron appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance (either narcotics or alcohol) and unsteady on his feet. While boarding the bus, the patron stumbled and fell onto a female patron that was seated and also fell on top of that patrons 2 year old child. The female patron became angry and pushed him off of the child at which point he fell to the floor of the bus. He was then assisted to a seat by a patron exiting the bus. While seated, he became involved in a verbal altercation with several other patrons. The patron stood up next to the bus operator and began to threaten him unprovoked. C1 stated that the bus operator ignored the patron initially however the threats continued. She stated that the bus operator became frustrated and pulled the bus over to confront the patron and demanded that he exit the bus. This is the point in which she began to film the incident with her cell phone.
WMATA's not releasing the man's name as of now. Kudos to the City Paper's Rend Smith for bringing us this fuller account of what happened. What a wild story.