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Police: Man punches out bus driver who refused to let him ride for free

O'DonnellTransit Police report arresting a Wakefield man on charges he repeatedly punched an MBTA bus driver in the face this morning at Oak Grove after the driver wouldn't let him board because his CharlieCard didn't have enough funds.

Police say the driver, 58, was letting passengers board his Route 131 bus at Oak Grove around 6:50 a.m. when Ryan O'Donnell, 19, stepped into the bus:

O'Donnell tapped his Charlie Card on the fare box which indicated insufficient funds to cover the fare. The bus operator explained this to O'Donnell who became belligerent and demanded to ride for free. The bus operator refused and after withstanding O'Donnell's verbal tirade requested he exit the bus. As O'Donnell was exiting the bus he turned and spat at the bus operator. Subsequent to that a struggle ensued where the victim/T employee was struck with a closed fist multiple times in the face causing injury and severe bleeding from his nose.

O'Donnell is now scheduled for arraignment in Malden District Court on a charge of assault and battery, police say.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

"he turned and spat at the bus operator. Subsequent to that a struggle ensued"

There were a few details omitted between the spitting and the ensuement of the struggle that make it look like the bus driver may have overreacted. How did a struggle spontaneously ensue after the alleged spitter was already exiting the bus?

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If someone spits on someone else, I don't think any subsequent reactions could be considered "overreacting". I could only imagine the rage I'd feel if someone spit on me!

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An overreaction? The struggle didn't spontaneously ensue, the driver got spit on and reacted in the way that most anyone else in the world would.

Let me hawk a loogie in your face and see how you react

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I'm saying, even if the bus driver's behavior was appropriate, why did the cops pretend it didn't happen?

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You know modifying the bus' flip up handicap ramps to allow for ejection of unruly people attempting to board the bus might be worth it for both driver safety and comedic effect.

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What is this, the 17th time this has happened this month?

Just goes to show you what our entitled society has bred - or is it a society of entitlements?

Maybe people have just become so used to not having to work for anything in this country...

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Crime is down, historically.

Like videos of cats, or people planking, the tubes of the world wide web disproportionately allow us to see more than we used to. Crime is one of those things, especially with twitter and microblogging.

Before you got the crime log once a week, now you can go right to BPD and look up every precinct daily, or come to Universal hub where Adam is plugged into the unmatrix zero frequencies.

Perspective, context, and a knowledge of history and understanding of statistics is key. Things used to be quite worse, people less smart, crime more horrendous. But we have a nostalgia for a past that blurs with that of Hollywood and cinema.

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Crime stats might be down, but the specific crime of spitting at a bus driver is actually up.

But thanks for that display of vast knowledge. Let me guess: law student?

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Mr UHub troll.

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Violent crime? No, there's a huge difference between this and someone getting shot, stabbed, brutally assaulted, murdered, drive by shootings.

I'm guessing some kind of substance abuse is involved here. 6:50AM can be a bitch when you're coming down.

On a side note: drivers are actually in fact supposed to allow those who can't pay to ride for free. Unless it's a huge daily issue, or involves the same person[s] all the time, I'd let it slide if I were a bus driver.

And yes, we do live in an entitled society. And it runs from the bottom to the top and back again. From people refusing to pay bus fares to banks and others being bailed out 100% dollar when they gamble and F up. It includes welfare and social services fraud by both 'clients' and private contractors and businesses. It includes the endless subsidies for this or that business. It includes guaranteed student loans and mortgages to the many businesses whose business models are reliant on government subsidies, contracts and involvement.

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Drivers are actually in fact supposed to allow those who can't pay to ride for free. Unless it's a huge daily issue, or involves the same person[s] all the time, I'd let it slide if I were a bus driver.

Cite please?

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I've never seen this documented anywhere, but had learned many (many many, back in the token days) years ago by word of mouth that if ask, the driver might let someone who can't pay on at his/her discretion, not something that they were required to do. You just has to ask up front. I remember trying it a couple times out of desperation when I was young and broke. The guy in the token booth even let me on the Green Line. This was back in the late 80s, early 90s.

The key was asking up front though, and to not be a habitual offender. I think I only did this 2 or 3 times ever in 25+ years of T riding. People who walk onto the bus and just think they are going to pull a fast one just piss people off, and rules may have changed since then. I have no idea if allowing people to ride without paying full fare is explicitly prohibited or if there is some unwritten rule that says "If you ask nicely and can refrain from spitting, the bus driver is allowed to take pity on your sorry broke ass and let you on this one time."

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There also seems to be an unwritten rule that says "If you're trying to add money to a Charlie Card on a bus and your dollar bills are less than pristine, you get a free ride because the farebox will spit the bills out."

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MGL c. 93A, § 9.2-(5):

"Ain't nobody got time for that"

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