NBC 4 New York
After several recent attacks, including one where a driver was stabbed with a hypodermic needle, MTA bus drivers say more needs to be done to keep them safe. News 4's Marc Santia reports.
A city bus driver who was stabbed with a hypodermic needle while on the job in Brooklyn last week spoke out for the first time Monday.
"I don't why the guy came out. Don't know if he was having a bad day whatever," said Marc Salandy who was driving a B68 bus last Tuesday morning when without reason his attacker jabbed the needle into his shoulder at a bus stop near Greenwood Avenue and Prospect Park South.
Salandy spoke at a press conference held Monday to raise awareness of the dangers city bus driver's regularly face. One by one, other drivers who have been attacked behind the wheel took the mic.
"He threatened to shoot me," said a tearful Rosa Rios, who had a gun pulled on her by a passenger.
"He spit at me, punched me and he broke the driver's side window," said Ronnie Santobello, who was sucker punched by a passenger.
While each driver shared a different story of how they were attacked, they all shared one common message: more must be done to keep city bus drivers safe.
"We don't ask for a lot, we just ask for protection," said Salandy.
The MTA said in a statement Monday that they are working closely with the NYPD and district attorneys in the five boroughs to catch attackers and prosecute them as harshly as possible.
"We have installed cameras in over 600 buses and bus operator shields on 650 buses, with more of both on the way," the MTA said. "Any attack on a bus operator is an attack on all of us at the MTA."