An MTA bus driver who had hot coffee thrown in his face by an angry rider in Manhattan last week says he still doesn't know what set her off.
Nouemane Baddarelli was behind the wheel of an M23 westbound at West 23rd street and Broadway in Chelsea on March 17th when he saw a woman approaching the bus as it pulled away from the curb.
When he stopped and opened the door, the woman screamed at him and then threw the hot coffee at him, Baddarelli told NBC 4 New York in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
"She came up screaming and cursing, 'f this and f that,'" he said. "Next thing, I saw the cup of coffee fly at the windshield and the partition. Hit the glass and went down my face. "
The liquid doused his left eye, his arm, the side of his leg and his groin.
After 10 years of driving buses, Baddarelli has been spit on and cursed at, but never encountered anything like this. He suffered minor burns for doing his job, he said: making safety for himself and his passengers a priority.
"We try to do everything by the rules and they attack us," he said.
Police are still looking for the woman who threw the hot coffee.
The bus drivers union has been lobbying for years for better protection of drivers. The current contract calls for partitions in all buses by 2017.