Brooklyn Bus Driver Fatally Stabbed

Late yesterday evening, my sister sent me a text message asking if I heard about the Brooklyn bus driver who was fatally stabbed. I told her I did not & just a few minutes ago got the chance to find out what happened. The B46 driver who was killed was 46 year old Edwin Thomas. He was stabbed by a non-paying passenger aboard his bus. Al Baker & Sewell Chan of the New York Times have more in this sad report:

A 46-year-old New York City bus driver working his route in Brooklyn was stabbed to death on Monday afternoon by a passenger who did not pay the fare, sat down anyway, and later demanded a transfer ticket, the authorities said.

The driver, identified as Edwin Thomas, was operating a bus on the B46 line when he was stabbed at 12:28 p.m. at the intersection of Gates Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard (also known as Reid Avenue) in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in the 81st Precinct. The passenger fled, and no arrest has been announced.

According to the police, the passenger boarded the bus and inserted an invalid MetroCard several times. Although the card was not valid, the rider sat down, and Mr. Thomas continued to operate the bus. At some point later, the rider demanded a transfer, and the driver refused, pointing out that the rider had not paid the fare.

The rider got up, the police said, punched Mr. Thomas in the head and made as if to get off the bus. Then, the authorities said, he suddenly turned around, came back toward the driver and made a slashing motion. He stabbed Mr. Thomas numerous times in the chest and torso.

Mr. Thomas was taken to Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, where he was pronounced dead. A $36,000 reward was offered for information leading to the capture of the suspect: $12,000 each from the police, the M.T.A. and Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, which represents bus operators.

The police described the passenger as a black man in his 20s, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Click here for the complete report.

Let me first offer my condolences to the friends & family of Edwin Thomas who unfortunately died due to the actions of heartless bastard.

This unfortunate death should send a huge reminder to the risks all bus drivers face while taking passengers from one place to another. This reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad yesterday afternoon. We were talking about the whole Plaxico Burress incident & carrying guns in general.

He took the time to share a story he never told me or my mother about an experience he had while driving. A driver became irate when he felt he was cut off my dad’s bus. He pulled up alongside & someone in the car started waving a gun threatening to shoot him. He dared the guy to do so while not thinking of the consequences if they guy called his bluff.

He admitted that it did not hit him until he reflected on the incident later that same day. In the end, he told me that he was glad to be retiring very soon. In his eyes, 29 years of seeing the good, bad & ugly of being a MTA NYC Transit bus driver was enough.

I told him maybe he should try to hold out a few more months to officially make it to 30 years. However after hearing about this incident, I’m glad he won’t be considering that. So the next time you feel like cursing out that driver or bad mouthing him/her for whatever reason, or question the toughness of this job, remember just how dangerous & hard this job really is.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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