Kansas City police on Friday arrested a man suspected of punching a bus driver in the face earlier this week after the driver ordered him and his friends off the bus, Police Chief Darryl Forté said on Twitter.
Details of where or how the arrest occurred were not released. However, Forté wrote, the case file is expected to be presented Saturday to the Jackson County prosecutor’s office, which will determine if criminal charges will be filed.
The assault, which was captured on surveillance video that has been broadcast locally and nationally, occurred as the assailant and his friends were exiting the bus after not paying their fares at 39th Street and Indiana Avenue.
The punch nearly knocked the 54-year-old driver unconscious while he was behind the wheel of the bus, which was carrying other passengers, police said.
The blow left the driver confused. In the video, the driver sits stunned after the punch, then repeatedly touches his face and reaches into the air.
The driver tried to continue on his route after the assault. The bus rolled forward and knocked over some orange cones before riders convinced the driver to stop the bus, police said.
Earlier, the attacker and his friends had boarded the bus, one by one, with each passenger saying the next person would “pick up” the fare. But the final passenger didn’t have enough cash for everyone. That’s when the driver told them to exit the bus, police said earlier this week.
In a statement Friday, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority said it was pleased that an arrest has been made and that the bus operator is doing well and has returned to work.
The statement added: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to send well wishes to the operator; it is heartening to hear support from near and far for the men and women who are on the roads every day.”
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