Official: DDOT bus driver 'had to protect herself' by stabbing passenger

“She felt threatened and she didn’t know what he was going to do. She had to protect herself.”

Fred Westbrook Jr. is president of ATU local 26 - the union that represents the DDOT bus drivers. Those drivers include the woman who stabbed one of her passengers in the hand around 7 p.m. Monday.

“Everything was taped off. They told me I could only talk to the driver through the window because there was a lot of blood right in front of the door and on the steps of the bus.”

Westbrook says the driver told him she reached the end of her route at Beaubien and Jefferson and noticed a passenger was still asleep on her bus.

“She asked him, ‘Could you get up and get off the bus? We’re at the end of the line.’ He explained to her he wasn’t going anywhere, ‘you can call the police or do whatever you want to do, but I’m not getting off the bus.’”

Westbrook says she told him she made a phone call and opened the doors, and the passenger got off the bus.

It’s alleged the passenger was walking toward Jefferson yelling at the bus driver, and she yelled something back. That’s when the passenger allegedly came at the driver with his hand raised.

“When he lifted his hand up, she said she slashed him with an item that she had in her hand. She told me it was a little small knife.”

“There was an altercation between the two of them. It’s still in the investigation stages,” said Lt. Ricky Brown, Interim Chief of the Detroit Transit Police. 

Along with Detroit police, the Transit Police are reviewing the video and audio captured by the surveillance system on the bus.

“Per DDOT policy, drivers are not allowed to have any type of weapons,” said Lt. Brown.

Fox 2 is told the 45-year-old stabbing victim is out of the hospital. The bus driver is subject to administrative review. It's not yet clear what charges may be filed in the case.

“DDOT transports roughly 500,000 people a week, and this is a very rare occasion,” said Lt. Brown. “One occasion for us, is one too many.”

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