A Metrobus driver is recovering at home after a teen passenger sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.
It happened on the B-2 bus at Minnesota Avenue at Pennsylvania Avenue early Friday morning. The driver was
confronted by two teens who wanted him to do things their way.
"They wanted to get off the bus, and the driver told them he can only stop at designated stops. They weren't happy about that, and one of them sprayed him in the head with pepper spray," Metro Spokesman Dan Stessel says.
The driver was treated by medics at the scene. The passengers were put on another bus to continue their trip. Police canvassed the neighborhood, but came up empty. They're hoping some video from the busses camera will help them identify the suspects, described as two black males between 16 and 19 years old. They both had tattoos under their eyes, and they were wearing rolled skull caps.
On any given day, there are two dozen Metro Transit Police Officers in plain clothes riding the busses, but drivers are still targeted and hurt.
Metro says 74 drivers were assaulted last year, everything from being spit on, to having rocks thrown at their busses. One of those rocks hit a female driver in the head.
The Metro Board has just authorized two dozen additional Metro Transit Police officers just for the busses. At the request of the drivers' Union, more of the officers will be in uniform. They'll be deployed based on crime hot spots.
Stessel says the additional officers are being trained in police academies in DC, Maryland, and Virginia right now, and should be on the busses by late summer.