In a shocking incident in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, a Metro bus driver is currently fighting for his life after being brutally stabbed multiple times. The Los Angeles Police Department reported that the attack took place around 5 p.m. near the intersection of Erwin Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, close to the mall.
According to officials, the 17-year-old suspect engaged in an argument with the driver as soon as he boarded the bus. The dispute escalated, leading both the suspect and the driver to exit the vehicle. It was at this point that the suspect brandished a knife and viciously stabbed the driver in the chest and back. The assailant then fled the scene on foot near Owensmouth Avenue.
During a press conference, Police Chief Michel Moore revealed that the suspect was apprehended approximately 22 hours after the crime. The release of the suspect’s photos by the LAPD resulted in valuable tips from the community. The 17-year-old was arrested at his residence and charged with attempted murder. Due to being a minor, his name will not be disclosed.
The bus driver, critically injured in the attack, was swiftly transported by the Los Angeles Fire Department to the hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition. Metro Board Chairman Ara Najarian visited the driver’s family at the hospital to provide support and monitor the driver’s medical progress. Najarian mentioned that the driver had undergone heart and abdominal surgery, with his heart stopping for several minutes during the procedures.
Al Cromer, President of the local union for Metro supervisors, expressed his distress at the situation, highlighting the frequent dangers faced by drivers who often become targets of various attacks. Cromer cited incidents where drivers had been subjected to objects, fluids, and even bodily waste being thrown at them. Last year alone, Metro recorded 158 assaults on drivers.
In response to this incident and recent attacks, Brian Williams, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of the Metro system, calling it the “lifeblood” of the community. Williams assured that every effort is being made to enhance security on the system.
This incident follows closely after Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s call for a comprehensive review of security protocols on Metro buses and trains, prompted by an attack on a Metro train in Long Beach. There are ongoing discussions about establishing a Metro Police Department, with a feasibility study currently underway. The study is expected to report on the viability of having armed officers and uniformed personnel dedicated to Metro’s security. Implementation, if approved, could take several years.
As the investigation continues, authorities and Metro officials are focused on bolstering safety measures to protect both employees and passengers and ensure the integrity of the Metro system.