PORTLAND, Ore. - A passenger on a TriMet bus is under arrest after TriMet officials said the man attacked a bus driver on Wednesday. Other passengers on the bus jumped in to help the driver, TriMet said.
TriMet officials said Thomas Dunford boarded the No. 9 bus at SE Powell Boulevard and Milwaukie Avenue in Southeast Portland at around 4:45 p.m. and became irate and started yelling when asked for his fare.
Witnesses told transit police the unidentified female bus driver didn't do anything to provoke Dunford, who officials said punched the driver in the shoulder so hard she was unable to continue driving.
Dunford was subdued by two other people on the bus, Trimet officials said. The good Samaritans kept Dunford restrained until transit police arrived.
TriMet officials pointed KATU News to a blog, called Rantings of a Former TriMet Bus Driver, which had radio traffic from the incident posted online.
"The guy attacked the driver, he did hit her pretty hard in the shoulder," an unidentified person said in one transmission. "Two passengers came to her rescue and got the guy off her. He's big enough [that] police had a hard time getting him in a police car."
Dunford was arrested on a felony assault charge.
In February, another driver was assaulted by a passenger who grabbed a driver by the throat. The driver was not seriously hurt.
That incident took place just blocks from the location of Wednesday's assault. TriMet did not say if the same driver or suspect was involved Wednesday.
TriMet is also dealing with another driver who forced a woman and four children off a bus at night in Forest Grove for failure to fay their fare. Witnesses said the woman who was kicked off the bus antagonized the driver.
The same driver was involved in a similar incident in October of 2011.
In May of this year, another TriMet driver, Larry Porter, tackled a man who was beating a woman in Southeast Portland.