Bus Driver Attacked By Angry Rider

Once again the dangers of being a bus driver for the MTA has reared its ugly head. The latest incident involved 60 year old driver Jacqueline Benjamin being allegedly attacked by 25 year old Alicea Diaz. Alicea claims she is always late for work due to Jacqueline purposely driving slow. Matthew Nestel, Joe Mollica, & Jamie Schram of the New York Post have more:

The agony of rotting away on a city bus as it moved at a snail’s pace sent one Brooklyn rider over the edge. Alicea Diaz, 25, who was sick of being late for work because of the pokey B82 Limited, allegedly attacked driver Jacqueline Benjamin, 60, whom she blamed for the mind-numbing rides. “She drives slow on purpose,” Diaz told The Post yesterday.

The waitress “repeatedly punched” Benjamin in the face “with a closed fist” and broke her glasses on Tuesday afternoon in Bensonhurst, according to the criminal complaint.
Benjamin, a 17-year MTA veteran, said Diaz unleashed a hail of blows after screaming, “I’m tired of you, bitch. You’re always making me late for work.”

“She thought she’d punch me and then get off at her stop,” Benjamin said. But the driver grabbed the woman’s hoodie and held her until cops showed up. Diaz — who has no prior arrests — was charged in Brooklyn Criminal Court with assault, menacing, harassment and criminal mischief. Her commuter rage could land her in prison because attacking a MTA bus driver is a felony.

Click here for the complete report.

If these allegations are true, I fully support seeing Alicea rot in prison for years & then some! As someone who has come from a family of MTA bus drivers, I saw first hand how hard & dangerous the job truly is. Whether it was seeing my dad busted open in the 90’s by someone who perfectly launched a broken beer bottle at a bus stop or this incident, these drivers put their life on the line daily to serve riders.

While he has since retired, it does not change how dangerous the job was or is for the current fleet of drivers. The increase in punishment for attacking a bus driver & the testing of bus shields are positive steps taken by the agency, it is clear that more needs to be done. The same holds true for subway conductors. Hopefully more will be done to increase the safety for these hardworking individuals.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] will serve as a major deterrent to crime occurring on buses, especially to its drivers with this recent incident being a prime example. Andrew Grossman of the Wall Street Journal has more in this report: More […]

I hope Ms Diaz case goes before a judge who considers her lack of a criminal history and makes sure she gets the psychiatric help she so clearly needs while hitting her with an income appropriate fine. I also hope Ms Benjamin remains retired from bus driving and uses the free time to become a voice demanding the MTA provide effective interpersonal training to deal with customers. Ms Diaz actions are both inexcusable and clearly the sign of poor advocacy on both the part of her community and her family. Ms Benjamin’s assault is just another in a long history of MTA failures to effectively train their workers to diffuse potentially violent situations when they are still only verbal. While hitting someone with felony charges are probably nice, I’m sure bus drivers, train conductors, booth clerks, and anyone else who deals with MTA customers would rather have the skills to diffuse tense situations before they ever get violent.

this is one stupid bitch,she did it,she was the attacker & everybody knows it. didn’t she think the cops would ask the passengers what happened? you notice the driver didnt get charged,because she did nothing wrong-case closed

I cant say I blame Alice Diaz. I for one cant stand bus drivers. They are the lowest form of life. They drive away while people are knocking on the door; and while they claim they have to or they’ll be late I’ve seen them stop half way down the street and wait for their friends.

I’ve seen them drive past people waitng at a stop because they claimed they weren’t at one particular spot though it was obvious they were waiting.

I am often made late by bus drivers-who make me miss my transfer.

They drive everyone crazy with their rudeness and poor service. They have no accounability and people are sick of them.

Transit Blogger I have no sympathy for you

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