There’s no telling who you will end up on public transportation with. With the rise in crime in major cities, one can only hope to escape the unsolicited wrath of a stranger or that someone will help if things escalate. Unfortunately, no one responded to the screams of Kyla Thurston when she was attacked on a DC Metrobus.
Just weeks ago, reports say Thurston was riding the W4 Metrobus and had given her seat to a mother with children, per WTOP. A group of juveniles and adults, mostly boys, also aboard the bus had been cursing around the kids and Thurston spoke up asking them to stop. Instead of rolling their eyes or ignoring her, the group became unruly, throwing Thurston to the floor, hitting and kicking her face and body.
She told Fox 5 DC her cries for help went ignored by both passengers and the bus driver.
“The bus driver made no attempt to stop the bus. He didn’t alert local authorities or anything to my defense. Even after I’m yelling at the top of my lungs, ‘Stop the bus – let me off the bus,’ the bus driver never stopped,” she said.
One passenger pulled out their phone to record the scene as the bus finally arrived at a stop and the group continued to drag Thurston off the bus.
Thurston told reporters she sustained bruises to her arm and neck and a shredded jacket. In response to the incident, Metro told WTOP News there was not much they could do.
More from WTOP:
A spokesman from Metro spoke with WTOP’s Mike Murillo about the incident.
“Metro’s General Manager has personally reached out to the victim to extend his apologies for what she experienced on the W4 bus on Monday evening,” Ian Jannetta said. “Generally, bus operators are only permitted stop at authorized bus stops unless they become aware that an incident jeopardizing safety is occurring on their bus. In those instances, they can stop where it is safe to do so and use an onboard system to send an alarm and contact the Bus Operations Control Center for assistance from a supervisor or Transit Police.”
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents WMATA members among other means of public transportation throughout the D.C.-area, said in a press release that they support the policy of not stopping vehicles at unauthorized stops or attempting to break up a disturbance, as it keeps the operator out of harm’s way.
“Our members are not social workers. Our members aren’t trained to fight or break up fights. Our members aren’t trained to resolve the social issues that cause this violence. The problems our members face every day are far larger than something we can tackle on our own as transit workers,” ATU said in a statement.
Metro Transit Police are investigating the incident and announced the arrest of two adults: Emoni Hubbard (27) and Terry Barnes (35).