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I-TEAM: Steep trend in assaults on bus drivers

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The FOX 8 I-TEAM is uncovering new information about attacks on RTA bus and train drivers in light of the video that has everyone talking. RTA says it has seen a steep drop in these incidents despite what happened last month.

Earlier this week, the I-TEAM revealed a vicious attack on an RTA bus driver caught on camera. A life and death struggle went on for ten minutes on Cleveland’s east side until police arrived. Passengers didn’t immediately call police, and at least one complained she had a job to go to and needed the door opened during the fight.

We investigated how often this is happening since, in the past, we have seen repeated attacks on drivers. But RTA says for 2014, it recorded 19 assaults on bus and train operators. And in 2015, the number dropped to 11.

RTA credits the drop to community policing with transit officers boarding more buses and trains and platforms.

In recent years, RTA has also investigated protecting drivers by shielding them from assaults. One idea considered involved the installation of bulletproof glass around drivers. But RTA decided against that. And the bus driver’s union says drivers really didn’t like being closed in that way anyway.

In the latest case, police ultimately arrested Jared Henderson. The I-TEAM revealed earlier this week, Henderson had been on probation for burglary and drug cases. Now we’ve learned, the court won’t take up any probation violation questions for more possible punishment until the county prosecutor files charges for the driver assault.