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Passenger spits on MTA bus driver, hits him with two-by-four in Brooklyn

MTA bus
Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 05:00:49-05

EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn — A bus passenger spat on an MTA driver and hit him with a two-by-four, knocking him out, in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning, police said.

The MTA employee was spat on as as drove down Clarkson Avenue near Remsen around 9 a.m., an NYPD spokesman said. He got off the bus to confront the passenger, who then picked up a piece of wood lying on the ground hit him, causing "serious physical injury."

No arrests have been made and police have not yet released a description of the suspect. He was last seen headed southbound on Remsen Avenue.

MTA spokesman Tim Minton slammed his actions.

“It’s reprehensible and unacceptable that anyone would attack a bus operator, one of the many heroes of this pandemic," Minton said. "We are cooperating fully with the NYPD investigation, and thoughts are with our colleague for a speedy recovery."

Tony Utano, president of the union representing transit workers, implored police to focus on preventing assaults against MTA employees.

"We have asked the NYPD Chief of Patrol to form a special unit to focus only on bus routes and reducing the horrific assaults taking place against Bus Operators - instead of leaving it up to individual precincts," he said. "We need a uniformed presence on buses, and greater accountability and responsibility."

Police said the driver was on a B17 bus. An MTA spokesman later said it was a B47 bus.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Editor's note: Police originally reported a different time for the incident.