TriMet beating suspect released from jail

TriMet beating suspect released from jail
Daemon Lamarr Bowman appears in court Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 via video. He's accused of attacking a TriMet bus driver after she refused to allow him to use a transfer pass.

PORTLAND, Ore. - The man charged with assaulting a TriMet driver in mid-December is now out of jail, and the head of the local Transit Union isn't happy about it.

Daemon Bowman, 39, was arrested Dec. 13 in North Portland, near the scene of the beating. He was lodged in the Multnomah County Jail, charged with third-degree assault, theft of services, and interfering with public transportation.

Police say Bowman was short on his fare and attacked the driver after she refused to give him a transfer ticket. The driver thinks she was hit more than a dozen times and the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 says she's still healing from her wounds.

But he says the emotional damage will take even longer to recover from and other drivers are feeling the stress.

"Emotionally, when they come to the part of town where this happened, they get chills in their body," said Bruce Hansen, the union president.

He says fellow drivers are uniting under a new slogan.

"The motto that's going around is 'harm to one is harm to all'. So we all feel the emotion of this," said Hansen.

Bowman is banned from all TriMet buses, trains and property, but Hansen says he's still concerned for the safety of the driver who was attacked, and all her coworkers. He feels the legal remedy is not strong enough.

But he says TriMet has been open to having more enforcement on buses and not just on MAX trains. And he hopes, through possible legislative and judicial avenues, that assaults like this will be fully prosecuted to keep his drivers safe at work.