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RTA Driver ‘Defended Self’ with Punch

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* * * Warning: Video content may be considered disturbing * * *

CLEVELAND – Was a veteran RTA bus driver justified in punching a female passenger in the face? That’s the question many are asking after a video showing the brutal uppercut went viral.

Artis Hughes, 59, is listed as the victim in a police report, and claims he was simply defending himself when Shidea Lane, 25, threw the first blow.

The cell phone video does not show the moments leading up to Hughes' punching Lane in the face, knocking her to the ground.

But Hughes, as well as other witnesses on that bus, claim that Lane boarded the RTA bus without paying and stated, “I left my boobag.”

The police report says Hughes closed the door and drove to the next bus stop where Lane asked him, “Are you putting me off the bus.”

Seconds later, it was Lane who, according to the police report, grabbed the driver’s neck as he was driving, then spit in his face. 

Hughes then stopped the bus, police say, to protect himself while Lane proceeded to allegedly strike him with her fists. 

The video then shows him punch her, knocking her to the ground.

*Click here to read the RTA rider's side of the story...

There is an overwhelming number of people in Cleveland in support of Hughes. 

In fact, a Facebook page has been created in support of him not being fired.

Hughes is currently on unpaid suspension as the RTA continues to investigate.

He has been on the job for 22 years and as of now, has no intention of filing charges against Lane.

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