Metro: Teens Pepper-Spray Bus Driver - NBC4 Washington

Metro: Teens Pepper-Spray Bus Driver



    Two teenage passengers assaulted a Metrobus driver after he refused to let them off between two stops. (Published Friday, Feb. 22, 2013)

    A pair of teenagers pepper-sprayed a Metrobus driver early Friday – not the first time a driver has become a target.

    About 1 a.m., two teens on a B2 bus in Southeast asked the bus operator to stop at a spot that wasn't a bus stop, Metro said. After the driver refused and continued to the next designated bus stop, the two teens sprayed the bus operator with pepper spray as they got off the bus near Minnesota and Pennsylvania avenues.

    "Every day, somewhere, a bus operator has that difficult interaction with a customer," Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

    Drivers regularly get into disputes with riders over things like fares and have to deal with people throwing things at them, Stessel said.

    Metro is working to make the ride safer for passengers and operators. Aside from putting extra police on buses, Metro is considering putting shields on buses to separate the drivers from the passengers, but some drivers don’t like those shields, Metro said.

    Crime on Metro trains and buses is a growing problem in Southeast near the Anacostia and Congress Heights stations, prompting Metro to step up patrols.