Police are looking for the fare beater who boarded an MTA bus in the Bronx without paying and assaulted the driver when questioned about the fare, officials said.
The MTA said the male entered the back of the Bx41 bus at Melrose and E. 162nd St. just after 8 a.m. Thursday.
When the driver, 53-year-old Nelson Diaz, requested the fare the rider had neglected, the fare beater grabbed him by the neck and banged his head into a window, authorities said. The assailant then fled.
Police quickly responded to secure the scene after the injured bus driver pulled over.
"The cop pulled up after the bus driver pulled over, and the cop got on the bus," said witness Artie Albano. "He was talking to the bus driver, and [the driver] was turning his face to show the cop where he may have been assaulted."
Police said the attack was random but riders waiting on the line for Bx41 Thursday said it wasn't surprising.
"I've seen people be hostile toward drivers," said Angie Woods, though she had not witnessed incidents escalate to physical violence.
Diaz, who has been on the job for 24 years, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital with a concussion. He's expected to make a full recovery.
The investigation is ongoing, and police are continuing to look for the attacker.