A Staten Island bus driver caught a girl's arm in the vehicle's door on Friday, and rather than pumping the breaks or pulling over so that the kid could extract herself, the driver kept going—despite the busload of passengers screaming for her to stop.
Paul J. Costello was on the bus at the time, and posted fellow rider Daziyah Johnson's photo of the incident to Facebook. Around 5:20 p.m., he said, a girl boarded an S46 bus and was waving goodbye to her friend when the driver shut the door on her. With the girl's arm trapped between the panels, the driver reportedly continued for nearly four blocks, Costello wrote.
"I was paying attention to my phone and listening to a podcast when I heard screaming," Costello told Gothamist. "I looked up and saw the girl's arm in the closed door. As soon as I noticed her arm, I also noticed that the bus had begun moving."
His fellow passengers noticed around the same time, and started shouting at the bus driver: "She's stuck!" "Stop the bus!" "Why are you driving!" "You're gonna get fired!"
Costello also heard someone tell the bus driver to "stop laughing" at the girl, who "was obvious[ly] shook," he recalled. Meanwhile, his fellow passengers kept yelling at the driver, things like, "What's wrong with you?" and "Why did you close the door on her like that?"
One passenger managed to snap a photo before the doors opened, and before he got off the bus, Costello asked his fellow commuter to send him the picture so he could share it with the victim and her family. He also attached the image to a report he filed with the MTA, but says the agency has not responded to his complaint yet. On Twitter, the New York City Transit Bus account told concerned passengers that an investigation would follow.
Hi there. Thank you very much for letting us know about this. We'll be sure to pass along this report to our internal team so they can investigate. ^CG
— NYCT Buses (@NYCTBus) September 29, 2018
Other witnesses told the Staten Island Advance that the girl's friends had been trying to catch the bus with her, and that she had asked the driver to hold the doors so they could hop on. Another passenger, Shalaysha Johnson, said she personally got out of her seat and yelled at the driver that the girl's arm was closed in the door, only to have the driver ignore her. Once the driver noticed that people were taking photos with their phones and recording, however, she seemed to finally hear the commotion.
"[The driver] started yelling back at us to shut up, and that she didn't see the girl's hand was stuck," Johnson said. "She told us all to mind our business, too."
In a statement to Gothamist, an MTA spokesperson said: "The safety of our customers is our first priority. These allegations are deeply concerning, and they are under investigation."