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Metro Transit Driver Charged With Assaulting Rider

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- A Metro Transit bus driver has been charged with multiple counts of assault for allegedly smashing a rider's cell phone and punching her multiple times earlier this month.

Charges were recently filed against 46-year-old James Yang in Ramsey County Court over the Oct. 2 incident.

According to investigators, an alarm on the bus brought officers to the area of University Avenue West and Dale Street North at about 11:30 a.m. that day.

Officers found Yang standing on the driver's seat with a hammer in his hand, apparently involved in a stand-off with a passenger standing in the aisle with a folding knife.

Surveillance video from inside the bus showed the two involved in an altercation. Yang told officers she was threatening to "sue everyone."

The video showed the woman leaving the bus, but returning to take a photo of Yang with her cell phone, which the driver then took and smashed on the ground.

The two then engaged in a struggle, and Yang was seen on the video punching the woman twice in the head. She sustained swelling to her cheek, and Yang cut his upper lip.

Yang has been charged with fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct, and fourth-degree damage to property.

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