No-contest plea in assault on Cincinnati Metro bus driver

CINCINNATI -- A 49-year-old man pleaded no contest Tuesday to assaulting a Metro bus driver in the city's West End neighborhood last month.

Marcellus Thomas is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 28.

Marcellus Thomas

A video posted on Facebook shows Thomas punching and shoving the 67-year-old bus driver after a dispute over the fare, police said.

The incident occurred on a Route 20 bus near the intersection of Central Parkway and Linn Street, according to Metro spokeswoman Sallie Hilvers.

She said the victim's injuries were not serious, but he was "sore."

The video shows the driver push Thomas out of the bus, but Thomas gets back inside before he could close the door. They wrestle while at least five passengers try to help the driver.

Hilvers said these kind of incidents are rare. Metro averages around 14 million rides every year, and they have only referred four instances of alleged assaults to police in the last three years.

 

Pending legislation, Ohio House Bill 496, would make it a felony to assault a bus driver. Thomas was only charged with a misdemeanor.

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