Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bus Driver Punches Passenger...again and again! Requests video evidence be erased

StarTran bus driver fired, accused of assaulting rider

A StarTran bus driver caught beating a rider on video and then dragging him onto O Street was fired this week.
Troy Fischer
Troy Fischer, 43, punches the 40-year-old man 18 times in the video while the bus was at 84th and O streets March 23. He then throws the passenger to the floor, before dragging him out of the bus as the man holds onto the door. Fischer leaves the man in the eastbound lane of O Street and takes off, making a left-hand turn into the Southeast Community College campus.
"I put him off the bus," he tells his supervisor over the radio in the video shot by cameras on the bus. "It wasn't pretty."
City Public Works and Utilities Department Director Miki Esposito on Friday said Fischer was fired Thursday after he had an opportunity to rebut allegations against him during a disciplinary hearing. She also released footage from the four bus cameras.
Lincoln police cited Fischer for misdemeanor assault after interviewing him the day after the alleged assault, Flood said.
Fischer, a StarTran driver for four years, was suspended without pay two days after the incident.
"Mr. Fischer's actions are reprehensible," Esposito said. "This type of behavior is not, cannot and will not be tolerated by the city of Lincoln."
Before throwing punches, Esposito said Fischer called his supervisor to say he had a difficult passenger. The supervisor advised Fischer to tell the passenger to get off the bus or he would contact police. Esposito said he ignored that instruction and called the supervisor back after the alleged assault.
"His directions were blatantly ignored," Esposito said. "He took matters into his own hands."
On camera, Fischer asks his supervisor not to watch the tape and whether he can erase the footage. That led the supervisor to pull the footage from the bus's cameras and check it out. He also ordered Fischer to abandon his route and return to the garage 1 1/2 hours before the end of his shift. Another driver filled in.
A background check on Fischer came back clean, and the most severe reprimand he received in his four years as a driver was a warning for a traffic violation, Esposito said.
"There were no warnings or red flags," she said.
Fischer expressed remorse during his disciplinary hearing, Esposito said.
Police officers took a statement from the alleged victim the day of the attack. He said he was from Colorado Springs, Colo., and had moved to Lincoln about two months earlier, Flood said. Investigators have not been able to reach him using the address and phone number he gave officers.
Fischer's only criminal record in Nebraska is a 2004 Hall County DUI case that was dismissed.

No comments: