She faced a challenge most bus drivers never have to: driving a dozen blocks with a gun to her head.
Surveillance video captured the harrowing journey.
The incident began just before 4 a.m. in Cleveland when a veteran bus driver picked up a man with a hoodie drawn over his head, WJW-TV reported.
Rather than head for a seat, the man pulls a gun on the unsuspecting driver.
While he demands her purse, she pleads with him not to shoot her and eventually pulls over to grab her purse and hand it over.
The man threatens her again when he says he suspects she has activated a panic alarm, while she cries and begs.
Finally, blocks further down on the same street he was picked up on, the man exits the bus.
The driver was not physically hurt, but the Amalgamated Transit Union said that the traumatic experience has led her to require a leave of absence.
“She’s real shaken up,” Union President William Nix told WJW-TV. “She’s very much shaken up and she’s trying to cope with it the best she can.”
Nix said that drivers have felt unsafe ever since a 2012 incident in which a passenger grabbed and spit on bus driver Artis Hughes, who then punched the passenger.
Hughes lost his job because of that incident.
“This is something that is going on– the assaults on our operators– ever since Art Hughes, it’s opened up a can of worms, but this is a blatant attack by robbing our member,” said Nix. “That’s a mother; that’s a sister; that’s a wife; and that’s a daughter. I mean, whoever did this, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
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