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Bus attacker sought

first_imgWHITTIER – A Foothill Transit bus driver was recovering Thursday from an attack by a passenger who apparently got upset when the driver woke him up, officials said. The 44-year-old driver, whose name was withheld, was treated and released Wednesday from a hospital and was in good condition Thursday, Foothill Transit officials said. She was hit in the head and kicked in the stomach at about 8:30p.m. Wednesday, shortly after stopping her bus at a stop on Norwalk Boulevard and Palm Avenue in Whittier, authorities said. “There was a passenger that fell asleep on the back of the bus, and she got to the end of the line and tried to wake him,” said Jeffrey Moore, assistant general manager for First Transit in Irwindale. “He came behind her and hit her in the face. She was trying to get back to the driver’s seat, and that’s when he kicked her,” he added. The man then got off the bus and fled. First Transit provides drivers to Foothill Transit through a contract. Whittier police Officer Diana Salazar said no arrests had been made in the attack as of Thursday. Moore described the assailant as an African-American man, about 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. The victim is a veteran employee who primarily works as a supervisor. She recently took on added duties as a bus driver, Moore said. Foothill Transit officials said the attack was a rare event. “For something like this to happen, it’s not only unusual, it’s highly unfortunate,” said Foothill Transit spokeswoman Felicia Friesema. “It’s very unexpected. Our customers have a great relationship with our operators.” Moore said the driver is expected to return to her job, but will be assigned to light duties. “I have a feeling she’ll be back in the saddle soon,” Friesema said. Foothill Transit is in the process of installing security cameras inside its fleet of buses, officials said. All of the devices should be in place within the next few months. However, the bus on which Wednesday’s assault occurred did not have a security camera, Friesema said. “This was one of the buses that was slated for retirement,” she added. araceli.esparza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more