On Tuesday, a Bronx teen flew off the handle and beat up a bus driver who wouldn't allow her to get on board with her dog. Driver Marlene Bien-Aime was hospitalized with a black eye, facial cuts, and chest injuries, while 17-year-old Steangeli Medina was charged with assault, menacing and harassment. Now, Bien-Aime is talking about the attack, and what can be done to protect bus drivers in the future: "She punched me in my eyes while I was sitting. She hit me several times in my eyes. She hit me all over my head and on my back." Watch the video below:
Medina boarded the Bx9 bus on Fordham Road in Belmont just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, with her Chihuahua under her arm—Bien-Aime told her that the pet had to be in a kennel or crate to travel, which enraged Medina. "She said, 'I'm gonna hit you,'" Bien-Aime said. The driver responded, "It's not me, it's MTA."
Medina dragged Bien-Aime out of the car, pulling her hair and punching her repeatedly. It left her with a badly swollen black eye, a large bruise on her upper left arm, a broken nose, and head and neck pain. Officials from the MTA told NY1 that 29 drivers have been assaulted so far this year—which does not include spitting as an assault. Union members say they have been pushing for a protective shield that would be installed between drivers and their passengers, but "The MTA is still dragging its feet on the implementation of protective shields for New York City bus operators," according Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen.