PHELAN (CBSLA) – Investigators have released security video of a suspect who last month assaulted and seriously injured a bus driver for purportedly asking for the correct fare on a public bus near the San Bernardino County community of Victorville.
The attack occurred on Dec. 21 in the town of Phelan aboard a Victor Valley Transit Authority bus, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect boarded the mostly empty bus at the intersection of Phelan and Buttemere roads. When the driver asked him to place the correct fare in the machine, the suspect began to loudly threaten him, the sheriff’s department said.
Bus security video shows the driver leaving his seat and verbally engaging with the suspect – who is animated — for about a minute, before the suspect then grabs the driver, shoves him off the bus through the open door, and then punches him several times while he’s lying helplessly on the ground.
At that point, the only other passenger aboard appears to intervene. The suspect then gets back on the bus, grabs his bag and gets off the bus. He towers over the driver, who is laying injured on the ground, and talks to him some more before leaving the scene.
The driver suffered serious head and facial injuries, the sheriff’s department said.
During the attack, the suspect claimed to be homeless. He is described as black, 25 to 35 years old, 6 feet tall, 250 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. At the time of the attack he was wearing a gray- and-red Chicago Bulls beanie, black-and-gray hooded sweatshirt, black sweat pants and black tennis shoes with white soles.
He is possibly left-handed because that is the hand he used to punch the victim, SBCSD reports.
Anyone with information on his identity should call detectives at 760-995-8781.