OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A 24-year-old man is behind bars for felony assault, after a brutal beating of a bus driver was captured on bus surveillance cameras.
The surveillance video starts with the bus driver repeatedly telling a belligerent passenger to get off the bus. It happened on an Intercity Transit bus, Route 47 in Olympia Tuesday afternoon.
"When I got on, he was shouting obscenities,” said River Nason, who was one of several riders on the bus watching the situation escalate.
The driver eventually pulled over and walked to the back of the bus.
You can hear the driver yell "Get off my bus!” and “Why don’t you leave?” repeatedly to the passenger.
The passenger finally walks to the exit, but refuses to leave. The driver then tried pushing the passenger out the door.
That’s when the passenger starts punching him repeatedly in the face and the chest.
Nason tries to step in to stop the beating, but there was one frightening moment that made him back off. The bus driver was bleeding and the attacker actually tasted his blood.
"That was the point that I said ‘I'm getting out of here,’” said Nason. “I'm stepping off the bus.”
A public defender told the court 24-year-old Kiel Duggins is on medication and has no criminal history.
Prosecutors called it a savage attack. A judge decided to hold Duggins on $20,000 bail.
Intercity Transit says swearing is not allowed on their buses. But when ask whether the driver acted appropriately using physical force to get a passenger to leave, they declined to comment, saying the incident was under investigation.
"It's within their protocol to ask a passenger to leave a bus,” said transit spokesperson Kris Franzen.
The driver, a seven -year veteran, is at home with a broken nose and bumps and bruises on his face.
He told KING 5 if he could do it all over again, he would have just called for help.