A brawl over bus fare may have cost one Phoenix bus driver his job.
Todd Allen Shields, 45, the bus driver in question, apparently initiated the altercation after a passenger attempted to use an invalid discount card.
The fight began after a 21-year-old passenger gave Shields a discount ticket intended for riders under the age of 18. Shields then confronted the passenger about not being eligible for the card’s discounts and after an argument started up, Shields attacked the passenger, according to Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson.
Thompson explained Friday that Shields physically threw the passenger off the bus and started throwing punches.
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Shocked passengers watched the incident unfold, and one was able to video the encounter on her cell phone.
“It makes me angry and sick to my stomach. He is the driver and deals with the public every day. He is supposed to be a professional,” said Desirae Madrid, the passenger who video recorded the fight.
Once police arrived at the scene, they arrested Shields and took him to the Maricopa County Jail on assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage charges
Despite the unexpected brutal backlash, Thompson said the victim only sustained minor injuries.
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Shield’s employer, Veolia Transportation, issued the below statement Sunday assuring that they are investigating the incident and the driver will be punished accordingly.
On Friday, June 14, 2013 a Veolia Transportation employee who is a bus driver was involved in an altercation with a passenger aboard his bus.
This altercation was related to fare collection and resulted in the arrest of the bus driver.
We are fully investigating this matter as we do any instance of possible misconduct. The driver is on investigative leave pending the completion and outcome of our formal investigation.
Employees who violate our policies are subject to disciplinary action, which can, if warranted, include termination of employment.