Former RTA Driver Who Punched Passenger Changes Plea

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CLEVELAND- The former RTA bus driver caught on tape punching a passenger last September changed his plea in court Tuesday morning.

Artis Hughes, 59, plead no contest in a Shaker Heights Municipal courtroom today.

Authorities say Hughes hit Shi’dea Lane, 25, after a verbal altercation over fare payment back in September. Video shot from another angle shows Lane assaulting the driver first. She was charged with disorderly conduct in the incident.

Hughes originally plead not guilty to assault charges back on October 24.

A probation department will now review Hughes’ case and he will be sentenced at a later date.

RTA released the following statement in October after the incident:

“RTA saw the video posted on YouTube of the operator incident on October 11. Through the investigation, we believe the incident occurred on Sept. 18. Upon identifying the driver, he was immediately suspended and removed from duty. His behavior is absolutely unacceptable. RTA apologizes to our customers for this incident. A full investigation continues.”

Lane is scheduled to be sentenced May 2.

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