MTA Bus Driver Chokes Passenger in Fight Over Dog: NYPD - NBC New York

MTA Bus Driver Chokes Passenger in Fight Over Dog: NYPD

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    MTA Bus Driver Chokes Rider in Fight Over Dog: NYPD

    An MTA bus driver allegedly choked a passenger in Brooklyn after the two got into a dispute about the passenger bringing a dog on board, police say. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Thursday, April 9, 2015)

    An MTA bus driver allegedly choked a passenger in Brooklyn after the two got into a dispute about the passenger bringing a dog on board, police say.

    The passenger, Giovanny Michaga, tried to board the B6 at Bath Avenue and Bay Parkway in Bath Beach Wednesday morning with his Maltese, according to his sister Rosa Michaga.

    The driver refused, and the two got into an argument. The driver allegedly grabbed Giovanny Michaga's throat, and other passengers stepped in to break up the fight, police said.

    "Who tries to strangle anybody for bringing a dog on the bus?" said Rosa Michaga. "That's crazy. It's unbelievable, actually." 

    Rosa said Minnie was in her carrying case when Giovanny tried to take her on the bus.

    "She was in her bag. What harm could she do to anybody?" said Rosa, who spoke on behalf of her brother, who wasn't home Wednesday night. 

    According to rules posted on the MTA's website, animals are not allowed on the bus unless it's a service dog or "unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers." 

    Whether Minnie's carrying case qualified is unclear: Minnie could obviously stick her head out of the bag, and the bus driver apparently didn't think she should be on the bus. 

    The 49-year-old driver has been charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and unlawful imprisonment.

    The MTA has not commented on the arrest of the driver, who has been with the agency since 1999. A message was also left with the bus drivers union.

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