I-Team investigates when woman says she was assaulted on RTA bus

CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained exclusive video of what happened as a man riding on an RTA bus made sexual advances toward a female passenger. And it led the I TEAM to investigate how it was handled.

The incident took place last month on the #9 bus. The video shows a man sat down next to a woman and kept moving closer. She later told police the man also started rubbing one of her legs. So she moved to another seat. Then, he moved, too. But it didn’t stop there.

The video shows another passenger telling the driver, the man who’d been touching the woman next to him now was touching and fondling himself sitting behind her.

The driver threatened to call police, yelling back to the man. He didn’t call police. But at the next stop, he ordered the man off the bus. Still, as the man made his way off the bus, video shows him telling the woman he’ll see her again.

The victim later told the I TEAM she couldn't understand why the driver didn't get police right there. And she really didn't like what he told her. She says the driver simply told her quote "Don't take it personal." RTA did not release the video of the victim's interaction with the driver.

Court records show, days later, RTA Police filed charges against the suspect for public indecency. But he didn’t show up for court. Now the case could be refiled in Cleveland Heights since that’s where the bus was when everything happened.

Meanwhile, RTA is supporting how the driver handled the matter. RTA spokesperson Linda Krecic said in an e-mailed statement, “The bus driver made a judgement call to resolve the problem in the way that he thought best, based on the limited information he had at the time. The bus driver could not see, nor was he aware of, anything inappropriate happening on the bus. However, as soon as the bus driver was made aware of suspicious behavior, the bus driver took action. He immediately addressed the suspect, proceeded to the next stop and ordered him to exit the bus. According to procedure, if the customer had refused to exit the bus, the driver is instructed to call Transit Police.”

Nonetheless, moments after the man got off the bus and the driver pulled away, the video shows him chuckling to himself and shaking his head.

We’ll be watching to see if the case gets refiled in Cleveland Heights or otherwise moves ahead in the courts.