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Attack On Metro Transit Bus Driver Prompts Call For More Barriers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A brutal attack on a Metro Transit bus driver this week was caught on camera and posted to social media.

The assault happened Tuesday afternoon on the Route 5 bus in north Minneapolis.

"I don't know anybody who can look at this video and think that it is anything less than disgusting," said Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla.

Metro transit officials say the video of one of its operators being attacked while sitting in the driver's seat of a city bus is hard to watch.

Padilla called the attack "totally unprovoked."

Someone on board the bus captured the beating on their cellphone and then posted it to social media.

"The driver was caught by the seat belt, couldn't get up and defend themselves and the person just kept assaulting them," Timlin said.

He says incidents like this are on the rise.

"I don't have the exact number, but what we're getting in seems there is a bit of an uptick right now," he said.

Timlin believes this attack could have been avoided if the bus had a barrier to protect the driver.

"They've been implementing barriers, and, at this point, there are only about 20 in the entire system," he said, adding that, in his view, more are needed.

Metro Transit says a committee of both drivers and managers will study the effectiveness of the barriers before deciding if more are needed.

Until then, investigators have their work cut out for them.

"We're not going to just depend on just this Facebook video that's out there," Padilla said. "We're also looking at our own video."

Metro Transit police investigators believe that there were several witnesses to this brutal attack both on the bus and well as outside, at the intersection of 15th and Emerson avenues.

Anyone with information on the attack is asked to call the Metro Transit Police Department at 612-349-7200.

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