Metro Transit Police arrested a MetroAccess driver on a first-degree sexual assault charge Wednesday.
Ezra Porter, 50, of Upper Marlboro, Md., is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a female passenger Friday, according to police. He allegedly stopped the vehicle Friday afternoon and assaulted the victim in Bowie before taking her to her home.
Porter has worked as a driver for three and a half years. He was arrested after the woman's relatives contaced Metro Transit Police Friday afternoon, and Porter has not been permitted to drive for MetroAccess since the investigation began.
"These are handicapped people who ride this," said MetroAccess passenger Edward Davenport. "I mean, who would do something like that?"
Davenport said he uses the service a few times a week and the drivers are professional. "It's hard to believe. Most of them I talk to are pretty nice."
"That's just sick," said another rider. "That's crazy."
Porter works for MV Transportation, which provides MetroAccess service. Metro requires the company to perform background checks on employees who provide MetroAccess service.
A check by News4 shows that Porter plead guilty in 2008 to driving on a suspended license and was put on probation.
After its contract ends in June, MV Transportation will only operate a call center as part of a change in business model, Metro’s Dan Stessel said. Three other companies will operate the service, hiring drivers and providing maintenance.
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In 2010, MV Transportation launched an independent investigation into its hiring and training practices after four drivers were accused of sexually assaulting passengers.
Porter remained behind bars as of Wednesday night.