What to Know
A third attack on a B15 bus driver in Brooklyn on Monday may be connected to two similar ones on the same route last week
Police say a man has released or tried to release some sort of substance from an aerosol can on three B15 buses in the last week
The suspect remains on the loose
A third driver on MTA's B15 bus route in Brooklyn has reported an unprovoked attack, days after police announced a search for a man who released pepper spray on two other buses.
"Twice is coincidence. Three times is a pattern," said TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano. "We obviously have a public safety menace on the loose, and he must be apprehended immediately."
Officials say that on Monday, a man who appeared to be mumbling to himself approached a B15 bus at the driver's side window, and the driver opened the window to see if the man needed help. That's when the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a can of some sort of aerosol spray, and the driver shut the window.
The man then began banging on the window with the can, breaking the window, officials said. He then ran off.
Police are still searching for the man who allegedly released pepper spray on two B15 buses last Thursday, once in the morning near East 98th Street and then again during the evening rush near Blake Avenue and East 98th Street. Two passengers and the driver were taken to the hospital with watery eyes and breathing trouble in that case.
Cops searched the immediate area for the suspect after the attack but he remains on the loose Friday. Authorities found a can of the spray at the scene.
The B15 route weaves through Brooklyn toward JFK Airport.
The union says it's reached out to the MTA asking for a dedicated police presence on the B15 route until the suspect is caught, and it has been promised by the MTA that only camera-equipped buses will be put on the route until the suspect is arrested.
New York City Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement, "We’re working closely with the police and are providing whatever assistance we can to catch this perpetrator and have him face the consequences of his actions. We will not stand idly by while our colleagues are attacked."