Officials are asking the public's help for information that could lead to the arrest of a suspect who assaulted a SEPTA bus driver on New Year's Eve.
A man refused to pay fare after boarding the Route 113 bus at Pembroke and Oak Avenues in East Lansdowne around 10:30 p.m., and then argued with the bus operator, according to SEPTA. The suspect punched her twice in the face before fleeing and was last seen on Oak Avenue.
The driver was not seriously injured and returned to work, said SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch, who called the incident “unfortunate.”
Officials released surveillance footage of the incident Friday.
“A woman just doing her job, driving a bus with passengers," SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel told 6ABC. "When a person interferes with our operators to the point where it jeopardizes the safety of that operator and the other people, we take that personal.”
In 2019, there were 46 physical assaults on bus operators, including the Dec. 31 incident — an increase from 13 in 2018, and 29 in 2017.