MTA bus driver says he was assaulted on the job in the Bronx

Posted: Updated:

An MTA bus driver says he was assaulted on the job this week in the Bronx and says it's a dangerous time for him and his colleagues.

Mario Padilla was driving the Bx2 route Monday. At the end of the route on Fort Independence and Sedgewick Avenue, he says he noticed a sleeping passenger and woke him up.

Padilla says the man accused him of spitting in his face and got angry. He says the man then spit in his face, which caused an argument and then an attack.

"He came and swung right at me, he started punching on me," said Padilla.

The scuffle spilled off the bus and Padilla said he was able to hold the guy down until police arrived.

Police say the suspect, Angel Huerta, has been charged with assault and theft of service. Back in April, police say Huerta doused a subway and bus operator with urine in the Bronx.

Workers say it's an unfortunate recent pattern and according to an announcement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June, assaults reported by NYC Transit workers are up 15% in the past four years.

Padilla has dedicated nearly half of his life to moving New Yorkers and is now demanding some respect. The MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford called the attack despicable and says he will press for the assailant to face the maximum consequences for his actions.

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