Monday, January 25, 2010


PORTLAND - Another incident on the TriMet system leaves passengers shaking their heads after a TriMet bus driver was beaten unconscious early Saturday morning after intervening with several young passengers.

Two Portland Police officers were treated and are on paid administrative leave after their patrol cars collided with a bicyclist as they responded.

TriMet's spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said the bus attack happened just after midnight as the Route 72 bus stopped on 82nd Avenue just south of Powell Boulevard to let passengers off.

A group of seven or eight young people gathered at the back door, but only two got off before the doors closed.

"We believe that the Operator likely locked the back door to the bus when passengers were getting off the bus, and that provoked the remaining members of the group to come to the front of the bus." The 56 year old driver was described as yelling at the young people and then got out of her seat, prompting the young people to act in self-defense, returning the attack on the driver. The driver was overpowered and was beaten unconscious, when the passengers fleed the bus.

One of the young passengers was described as kicking the rear door in an attempt to get out of the bus, ultimately shattering the glass and bending the frame of the door.

A bystander called 9-1-1 after the assualt and Portland Police responded to the scene. The bus driver was transported to Emanuel Hospital and her condition is unknown at this time.

Portland Police located the group nearby. Two of the youths were detained for probation violations, and a third was arrested for possession of marijuana. The others were interviewed and released to their parents after being cited for curfew violations.

"The driver will be immediately placed on paid leave pending an investigation," said Mary Fetsch of TriMet. It is unclear whether the attack was taped with the bus survelliance system.

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