A man has been apprehended and charged following an assault on a bus driver in lower Manhattan on Saturday, as reported by law enforcement authorities.
Rashon Eagle, aged 45, allegedly attacked a 58-year-old M15 bus driver just after noon, according to police statements. The incident was captured on camera by Anthony Osamor, a ticket seller for Statue of Liberty cruises.
According to Osamor, the driver had instructed Eagle to exit the bus, prompting an altercation. Despite Osamor’s concern for the driver’s safety, he felt unable to intervene directly, prompting a call to law enforcement by his colleague. Describing the incident, Osamor expressed his fear, stating, “I was scared.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reported that Eagle began berating the driver for perceived delays. Upon reaching South Ferry around noon, Eagle exited the bus only to re-board, physically assaulting the driver and brandishing a knife, according to MTA accounts. Osamor recounted the driver’s injuries, expressing sympathy for him, noting, “I feel so bad for him, because his eyeball was red — full of blood.”
In a display of self-defense, the driver managed to disarm Eagle and detain him until police arrived on the scene. Eagle was subsequently arrested and now faces charges including assault, criminal obstruction of breathing, and menacing. Assaulting a public transportation worker carries penalties of up to seven years in prison upon conviction.
Recounting their experiences, riders of the M15 bus expressed concern over the prevalence of assaults on public transit. One passenger, Carmen Gutierrez, shared her own encounter with violence, highlighting the need for increased vigilance among commuters. Incidents like these underscore the challenges faced by both passengers and operators in ensuring safety on public transportation networks.
Frank Annicaro, the senior vice president of the New York City Transit Department of Buses and MTA Bus Company, condemned the attack in a statement, labeling it “outrageous” and “utterly unacceptable.” He emphasized the need to prioritize the safety of transit employees and passengers alike, denouncing acts of aggression directed towards those facilitating essential transportation services.