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Metro bus driver left with scratches and broken glasses after fight with passenger

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A Metro bus driver was attacked while on the job Monday morning, the latest in a string of violent incidents.

Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to North Spring Street and West Temple in downtown Los Angeles around 9:45 a.m. where a fight took place between the driver and a passenger.

The bus driver reportedly recognized the possibly homeless attacker from previous incidents and attempted to stop her from entering the bus by closing the doors, according to the LAPD. 

The driver and suspect got into an argument, which then escalated when the suspect tore the driver's glasses from her face, police said. The suspect ran off, and the driver went after her to get her glasses, leading to a second fight. Police say the suspect scratched the driver's face and took off.

Police said the driver got her glasses back, but they were broken. The suspect is a woman, possibly homeless, believed to be in her 30s.

Police released this photo of the woman accused of attacking the Metro bus driver.

Following the incident, Metro said they are accelerating work to prevent crime on the system.

"Metro is angered that yet again a member of our community chose to assault one of our essential bus operators. Our employees deserve a safe workplace and our customers deserve a safe ride…" the agency wrote.

Earlier this month, Mayor Karen Bass, who is also Metro's board chair, announced an "immediate surge" in law enforcement personnel to patrol the transit system after a recent spike in violence.

Metro has responded to the surge of attacks and incidents, by approving the installation of plexiglass barriers for about 2,000 buses. The barriers are expected to be installed by the end of 2024.

Other safety measures approved include increasing security cameras and using technology including facial recognition.

The agency may also look into ways of banning problematic individuals from Metro altogether.

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