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