Man accused of attacking Trimet bus driver pleads guilty

Man accused of attacking Trimet bus driver pleads guilty »Play Video
FILE -- Daemon Lamarr Bowman appears in court Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 via video.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Pam Thompson has only a few physical reminders from December's attack.

“Yeah,” says Thompson, “I only have one mark that's on my, on the side of my head that will always be a reminder.”

Daemon Bowman Tuesday admited hitting Thompson on board the TriMet bus she was driving.  His admission was part of a plea agreement.

Bowman didn't have a full fare to ride the bus that night, but Thompson said she gave him a ride anyway. He attacked her when she refused to give him a transfer ticket, she said.

Bowman eventually ran away and Thompson called for help.

Thompson's surprised that seeing video from the attack didn't really shake her at all.

“I was kind of thinking that it was kind of going to bring back nightmares or things like that that I'd had at the beginning,” Thompson says. “But it really wasn't overwhelming. It was clarifying to me some of the things were kind of a haze of how did this happen, how did that happen.”

At a plea hearing last week, Thompson was surprised at her attacker's biggest concern, a year-long ban from riding any TriMet bus or train.

“He was like you know 'how am I supposed to get to, um, do the community service, how am I supposed to get to a job?’ and etcetera. So that was, that was interesting.”

Thompson says she forgives Bowman and truly hopes this mistake doesn't define his life.

After reports of several attacks on TriMet bus drivers in the past couple of years, Thompson also feels a change in public attitude, less tolerance for bus riding bullies.

“They're a little more vocal about, you know, 'guys get off the bus if you can't pay your fare and or if you're gonna cause problems.' They don't want any problems. So the public is becoming a little more proactive in that and we appreciate that as drivers.”

Daemon Bowman changed his plea to guilty in a filing in Multnomah County court this week. He was accused of punching and throwing a female bus driver to the ground in December 2013.

Bowman has been ordered to serve three years of probation, 80 hours of community service, pay a $200 fine and take an anger management class. He also has to pay $10,610 in restitution to TriMet to cover the cost of Thompson's time off.

Bowman also has to stay off TriMet for a year and write a letter of apology to the bus driver.