NOMAD, Manhattan — Police are looking for a man they say assaulted an MTA bus driver who asked him to put on a mask before boarding the Manhattan bus.
According to the NYPD, it was around 2:30 a.m. Monday when the unidentified man attempted to get on the northbound M2 MTA bus without a mandatory face covering, near Madison Avenue and East 29th Street.
The bus driver, 62, stopped the man, telling him he had to put on a mask to ride the bus, police said.
That's when the man punched the bus driver in the face before fleeing the bus in an unknown direction, according to authorities.
The victim suffered pain and swelling and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, police said.
Face coverings or masks are required on all MTA buses, subways and trains as the city continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg called the incident a "despicable attack on a hero" and urged New Yorkers to continue to safety amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This is a despicable attack on a hero moving this city during a pandemic and simply trying to protect the safety of all customers. We are cooperating with the NYPD’s
investigation and search for the perpetrator. We recently launched Operation Respect to make masks available for anyone who needs them, have deployed MTA security and staff safety volunteers to assist with mask distribution, and ask all New Yorkers to join in this effort to protect health and safety.”
The NYPD has released the above surveillance images of the man they're looking for.
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).