Teen Stabs Metro Bus Driver in Woodland Hills: Driver in Critical Condition

A 17-year-old male stabs a Metro bus driver in Los Angeles, leaving the driver in critical condition. Suspect arrested, investigation underway.

A Los Angeles Metro bus driver is currently fighting for his life after being stabbed multiple times by a teenage passenger in the Woodland Hills neighborhood on Wednesday night. The 17-year-old suspect was apprehended on Thursday afternoon, as announced by Police Chief Michel Moore during a press conference.

The brutal attack occurred near the intersection of Erwin Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, close to the mall, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Authorities revealed that an argument erupted between the suspect and the driver shortly after the suspect boarded the bus. Both individuals disembarked from the vehicle, and the dispute continued. Tragically, the suspect then produced a knife and mercilessly stabbed the driver multiple times in the chest and back.

Chief Moore stated, “At this point, we understand that the driver arrived with a fully functional bus, and the individual we believe responsible got on. Some type of dispute arose. Both exited the vehicle, and while outside, the driver was just viciously attacked.”

Following the assault, the teen suspect fled on foot near Owensmouth Avenue. The LAPD released photos of the suspect, which aided in generating tips from the community. Approximately 22 hours after the crime took place, the suspect was arrested at his residence and booked on a charge of attempted murder. Due to his status as a minor, his name will not be disclosed.

The Los Angeles Fire Department swiftly transported the bus driver to the hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition. Metro Board Chairman Ara Najarian expressed his concern by visiting the driver’s family and closely monitoring the medical situation. Najarian revealed that the driver had undergone heart surgery and abdominal surgery, with his heart ceasing for several minutes during the procedures.

Al Cromer, President of the local union for Metro supervisors, described the incident as a “horrible situation.” Having previously worked as a driver himself, Cromer highlighted that drivers often face various forms of attacks. Disturbingly, Metro’s records indicate that 158 assaults occurred just last year.

Brian Williams, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, emphasized the significance of a safe transportation system. He stated, “Our bus and rail system is really the lifeblood of our community. If you don’t feel safe getting on it, then you’re not going to get on it. So I’m happy to say that we are doing everything we can to make sure this system is safe.”

This recent attack comes merely two days after Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn called for a thorough evaluation of security protocols on Metro buses and trains in response to an assault on a Metro train in Long Beach.

Efforts are underway to establish a Metro Police Department, with a feasibility study currently in progress. Metro Board Chairman Najarian shared that a report is expected at the next board meeting, exploring the possibility of having armed and uniformed officers. Presently, the Metro system is policed by multiple agencies, including the LAPD, Long Beach Police, LA County Sheriffs, contract personnel, and Metro Transit Security. However, even if the concept of a Metro Police Department is approved in June, it may take several years to establish a functioning police force.