Neb. driver loses job after video shows attack

AP News
Posted: Apr 13, 2013 1:05 PM

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Surveillance video shows a Nebraska bus driver who is accused of assaulting a passenger repeatedly punching the man before dragging him off the vehicle and leaving him on the side of a road.

Officials in Lincoln released the video Friday and announced 43-year-old Troy Fischer had been fired from StarTran Bus Service on Thursday, the Lincoln Journal Star ( reported. He has been cited on suspicion of misdemeanor assault in the March 23 incident.

The video shows Fischer communicating with the lone passenger. At some point, Fischer becomes agitated with the man, stops the bus and begins attacking him. The video shows Fischer punching the passenger 18 times. He then drags him off the bus and leaves him on the side of a road.

Miki Esposito, director for the city's Public Works and Utilities Department, said Fischer was initially suspended without pay after the incident. But he was fired after a disciplinary hearing that allowed him to rebut the allegations.

Esposito called Fischer's actions reprehensible.

"This type of behavior is not, cannot and will not be tolerated by the city of Lincoln," she said.

The Associated Press could not reach Fischer for comment Friday.

Esposito said the March incident began after Fischer notified his supervisor that he was having trouble with a passenger. The supervisor instructed Fischer to let the passenger leave voluntarily or call police.

"His directions were blatantly ignored," Esposito said. "He took matters into his own hands."

In the video, Fischer is heard telling his supervisor after the attack that he put the passenger off the bus and "it wasn't pretty."

Esposito said there were no red flags with Fischer, who had been a driver for StarTran for four years. He was warned once for a traffic violation, and he had a DUI case in 2004 that was dismissed.

Fischer was remorseful during the disciplinary hearing, Esposito said.

The newspaper reported that investigators have been unable to reach the man in the video, who provided an address and phone number to police on the day of the attack.