NJ Transit — aggressive verbally (physically) abusive behavior by bus driver.
To Whom it may concern,
The following are the events of the unjustified behavior and abusive attack of a N.J. transit driver:
• On Thursday 10/3/19, I arrived at the 78th street bus stop(# 21369) in North Bergen N.J, in Hudson county, on Bergenline ave., the side heading south toward NYC, before 7pm.
• I used my NJ Transit app., on my phone, to see when the next 22 Hoboken bus would be arriving. According to the bus schedule, the 22 bus should have arrived at 7:16pm. The 22 bus never arrived at 7:16pm. Other buses (156, 159, 84, and private buses) continued to arrive.
• I continuously refreshed the bus schedule on my app. On my phone, and every so often the schedule would indicate that the 22 bus was going to arrive in 4 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 5 minutes, etc. but no bus in sight until one began to approach at approximately 7:43pm(approximately 30 minutes late).
• While standing at the bus stop I waved my hand as I always do, singling the bus driver to stop. I noticed that the bus driver looked at me, sped away without stopping.
• I noticed that the light changed to red, and the bus driver had to stop before reaching the next bus stop. I ran toward the next bus stop, in an attempt to catch the bus.
• While approaching the bus, I noticed that his lights were off, yet he turned them on when he opened the bus doors to let passengers enter.
• I entered the bus out of breath and unable to speak. Laughingly, the bus driver asked me why was I so out of breath and running when he could not see me?
• I replied to him that he must have seen me because I was waving for him to stop at the bus stop, and I saw his face as he looked at me when he passed the bus stop.
• I asked him if he was running late because I had been waiting at the stop for over half about half an hour. I told him that his behavior was unacceptable.
• I went to sit down after I showed him my pass, and he proceeded to berate me, yelling at me that if I didn't like his behavior I could get off the bus. He asked me if I wanted him to get a cop to get me off the bus. I told him to please go ahead and call a cop because I wanted to report his abusive behavior.
• My husband called me on my cellphone and I could barely hear him because the bus driver would not stop yelling at me. I asked him to stop and just drive because I could not hear anything.
• After my brief phone conversation, I got up and asked the driver for his identification number and name. He pointed to the bus number at the top front of the bus (#6026).
• I also asked him for his name, and informed him that I would be reporting him for his unprofessional behavior. He mockingly said to me "You want my name? " I said yes. He said "My name is my name". Then he proceeded to laugh mockingly mind repeating the same line over and over again. He also began to say things to me in a foreign language I could not understand.
• I said to him fine, "So can I take a picture of you instead?". He laughed and said go ahead, and he put a big grin on his face. I snapped and tried snapping another, and he said laughing, "No stop, I changed my mind". I said to him, so can I have your name and I.D.# instead. He yelled no.
• He began yelling at me calling me a racist. Repeating the word over and over again, even purposely pronouncing it as "Raisin".
• I was shocked. I asked him, "How am I a racist?", "How am I a racist by not allowing you to be disrespectful to passengers?" I also informed him that I was Hispanic, and didn't care about any race issue.
• As I proceeded to sit down, he continued yelling at me(what seemed to be vulgarities) in his native language loudly. I asked him why he insisted on yelling at me in a language I could not understand. I informed him that I also spoke another language, Spanish, yet I gave him the respect of addressing him in English, a language we both had in common, and could understand.
• He yelled that he could speak to me in any language he pleased, and continued to call me a racist, and mockingly pronouncing it "Raisin".
• I told him that that I am as Puerto Rican.
• He stopped the bus, came out of his seat, came up to me as I was sitting down, came up to my face, proceeded to yell at me and point his finger at my face. (Video proof) I kept backing away in my seat and told him to keep his finger/hands away from me. He continued in his native language yelling and pointing at me.
• He maintained a threatening stance by standing over me, yelling, and continuing to point his finger in my face .After a while, he went back to his seat. I was so shocked at his aggression and disrespect.
• A passenger called my attention and informed me that he had the entire incident of the bus driver on video. He said he would gladly give it to me.
• I got the impression that the bus driver realized that there was proof of his behavior, so he drove the bus for the remainder of the trip without saying a word.
• While in Union City past 43rd St. on Bergenline ave., I noticed a police officer standing near the corner in front of a store. I asked the driver to open the door since he had stopped for the red light because I wanted assistance from the police officer. I pointed toward the officer; the driver refused to open the door. I tried tapping on the door to get the officer's attention, with no success. I asked the driver again to open the door and he refused.
• When the light turned green, the driver continued down Bergenline ave. He was speeding. At one point he was unable to yield successfully, he hit the brakes, and almost crashed into a passing car. Passengers were anger, fearful, some screamed. Comments were made as to what a horrible driver he was.
• When we finally reached my stop (33rd street), the bus driver did not say anything else, but I was horrified/shaken by his attack.
I have been utilizing N.Y and N.J. transit all my life and have never had such a horrific experience. Most of the drivers are very nice and professional. I am shocked that such an individual has been allowed to have such a sense of entitlement to abuse the public in such an abusive manner.
This individual needs to be appropriately reprimanded, sent to some anger management workshop, and any other appropriate interventions or sanctions should be imposed. In addition, I believe that a formal apology from the bus driver would be appropriate. He put the lives of his passengers and others in serious danger.
I would like an update on what steps the NJ transit is taking in regards to this egregious incident and the abusive behavior of this bus driver.
I will provide the video and picture of the bus driver.
Please be advised I am seeking legal counsel.
Thank you for your attention.
Dr. Joanne Medina
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