The RTA has fired the upper cut bus driver Artis Hughes, who uppercut an irate female passenger which was captured on a video.
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority spokeswoman Mary Shaffer confirmed that Hughes, a 25-year veteran of the RTA, was fired this morning for violating the rules of conduct.
“The employee handbook says an employee can be discharged if he uses overt force, strikes … a member of the public,” she said. “We understand he feels that his actions were in self-defense, but we disagree. The appropriate action should have been to pull over the bus and alert transit police and let them handle it.”
Hughes has been suspended without pay since Oct. 11, the day a video of his Sept. 18 confrontation with a passenger, Shi’ Dea Lane, 25, of Cleveland, went viral.
The video showed the Hughes and Lane involved in an escalating argument, replete with profanity.
“Until this video went viral, no one cared,” said Nix. “Now, the RTA is saying that anyone can do anything to our drivers and they are not allowed to defend themselves.”
In the video, Lane appeared to move toward Hughes while he was behind the wheel. Witnesses said Lane spit on and hit Hughes, which Lane’s lawyer denies.
Hughes said he feels betrayed by the RTA.
“I feel let down,” he said at the press conference. “I feel like they should support their drivers. I was just trying to do my job. … I’ve run over those events in my mind 1,000 times and I don’t know what I could have done differently.”
I’m not sure how I feel about this decision, because Shi-Dea did spit on him. What do you think?