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POLL: Cleveland RTA Bus Driver Uppercuts Female Passenger

Do you think the 22-year veteran should be punished further for the blow that was caught in a now-viral video?

A Cleveland RTA bus driver was filmed uppercutting a female passenger on a Beachwood bus and the video has gone viral.

A spokesperson from the RTA wrote today that the company saw the video on Oct. 11 and immediately suspended the 22-year veteran driver pending an internal investigation.

WATCH | Cleveland RTA Bus Driver Hits Female Passenger: Video Taken in Beachwood

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC SCENES AND EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.

Artis Hughes, the bus driver, has been suspended pending the investigation. "He and his union president have been notified, so we are now releasing his name to the public, per many requests," said a news release.

"Transit Police were called to the scene on Sept. 18 and completed an incident report... Artis Hughes stated that he was assaulted by a customer, Shidea N. Lane."

Do you think the driver deserves further punishment for this incident? Take our poll, and tell us why in the comments!

Mallory Stod October 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM
That man was wrong. He should have never engaged in a discussion with the young lady as it was getting out of hand. He should have pulled the bus over called the police and told her to get off of the bus. When he stood up and said she was going to jail. He should have called the police and let them handle it. That shove in comparison to that punch he landed in her face alone is not equal. He lost control she was not fighting him like a man. She wasn't fighting him at all. That man should be put in jail and fined.
mememe meme October 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I just watched the video and she did instigate, she did attacked first, she did get physically in the face of the driver and started. I side with the bus driver on this issue. The video is not showing how the entire verbal argument started. I been on the bus where the passengers will go out of their way to start with the driver. I do think it was wrong for him to get up and give her an uppercut, however she did start the physical fight first, and can be argued that by doing so she endangered everyone riding that bus, as we dont know if the bus was in motion or not at the time. I know I'm going to piss people off for saying this, but I'll have to side with the driver. I would have been another story if she did not get in the driver's face, but exactly like the driver said, if she wants to fight like a man, then fight like a man.
Joseph Byrne October 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Ummmm, she grabbed a driver's throat and spit on him while he was driving a mega-ton bus. What if a child on a bicycle was hit by the bus...what would be your opinion then? Lesson: Don't attack a driver of any vehicle while in motion; if you do act out then you should be given a reality check, or uppercut....whichever....Good!
Vast October 13, 2012 at 09:25 AM
Why call the cops? All she would have gotten was a ticket for misconduct. A good smack in the face is what this country needs to get back in line. This Is the very reason the prison system is so full. They didn't get their ass kicked enough as kids. We grew up getting our asses kicked and let the traditions continue.
C Cruz October 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Everyone keeps talking about what he could have done .....she should have kept her BROKE ASS of the bus ....Look if you start a fight and the other person just so happen to TKO you with a upper cut that was so sweet you can't be mad. One thing about it she will think before she goes for BAD again.
KRMS October 13, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Self control on both parties (and by the verbal edging and applauding of the other riders) is not present, in fact, I doubt any of them posses it. We all have the right to defend ourselves. I say good for him if she laid hands on him first. One other question, if the "N" word is so offensive, why are they using it towards each other? No respect for each other... and no sight of it in the near future... so sad.
bizzy October 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM
It may not be politically correct, but she got what she deserved. Sure he could have exercised more patience but I'm not mad at him. My first reaction after watching the video was 'good for him'.There are other videos which show that she was harrassing him for a long period of time, and the police report also states that she was drunk and refused to pay the fare. Unfortunately the driver (22 year veteran) will probably be fired but at least he did what every bus driver (and passenger) has dreamed of doing at least once in their life. Hell of a punch too...
Proud Socialist October 13, 2012 at 04:05 PM
He has enough time to retire, then he will sue the city for wrongful termination and claim self defense. Then the city will settle.
Proud Socialist October 13, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Like Spike Lee said in that movie...."Do the Right Thing". Looks like he did just that. When I was growing up, a young person would NEVER talk to an elder that way.
Proud Socialist October 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
If she would have paid her fare and sat down, this could have been avoided. Right? People like you make excuses for the worst of our race. That man had a right to defend himself.
Jack Vosteen October 13, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Unless your life is threatened you pull over and/or call for a police officer ... someone who is trained and empowered to correctly handle the situation ... That's common sense ... that's common law ... that's the drill
Joseph Byrne October 13, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Yeah sure...until it happens to you. And if he is supposed to be so superhuman as to just take hit after hit, well, then pay him accordingly. Can you imagine some lowlife at work doing that to you while on the job? Yeah, sure, you'd just let her go on and on.
Jack Vosteen October 13, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Self defense is always quite proper ... but ... to start with ... you don't aggravate the situation ... that is letting it go from words to yelling to pushing to punching to brawling ... You let police officers do all the "heavy lifting" ... A police badge isn't just a cop's colors ... it carries all kinds of authority and protection that Joe or Jane Citizen lack ... and often wish they had when they are sitting in jail and wondering, "What happened?"
Tommy Turner October 14, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Sorry... ANYONE, that assults me, I will immediately defend myself; male or female. Police officers wouldn't let her punch them like she did the driver. The web is full of officers that have had to defend themselves from women, & they (police) have not problem punching a woman... W/ the progression of /hyperMale Females in the last few years, any man, any person for that matter, needs to be able to defend themselves. If the woman didn't want to get "MollyWhap'd" then she shouldn't have attacked a GIANT A*$ man. Period. They should immediately let the driver finish his time till retirement and throw that woman in jail. If it was the other way around, man picking a fight then hitting a female driver and the female driver got up and "BamSloggered" the man... She would be considered a hero and would have got a promotion & book tour.... Male or Female... Defend yourself... Male or female, keep yo' mouth shut if you don't know if you can handle an "Mike Tyson Uppercut"...
Benjamin Englund October 15, 2012 at 04:03 PM
100% agree - she started it, he finished it.
Benjamin Englund October 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I agree - when he took her a** and THREW it out of the bus, I applauded. Too bad she had to continue making a freaking scene and come back on the bus. The thing I ask is this - when she was putting her hands on the driver, why the heck did the guy in the orange (he appeared to be RTA too, no?) NOT INTERVENE?!
Benjamin Englund October 15, 2012 at 04:09 PM
The verbal altercation was happening when the bus was in motion. A bus cannot just pull over where-ever it darn well pleases - especially in Cleveland. Also, if the drivers of Cleveland pulled over every freaking time there was a bit of an altercation, the RTA would be at a standstill. A person has the right to defend themselves. She pushed him WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS IN MOTION, to which he stopped, got up, told her how that was a mistake, and showed her how it was a mistake. She got what she deserved, and wished her ass would have gotten a bit more.
Clark Kent October 16, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Police kick people's a*ses and do other stupid sh*t all the time when they get their buttons pushed. If he had called the Police, they very well may have given her a better a*s whoopin'. Oh yeah. They're trained professionals. Tell that to Rodney King. She got what she deserved.
jeanette October 16, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Im not mad at the bus driver,he did what he had to do! I wouldn't gave a damn what job i was at once u spit on someone u deserve to get knocked out. She luck that's all she got!
molly ford January 13, 2013 at 12:22 AM
He was out of line. You can't just go around giving people what u think they deserve without mercy. He showed no restraint and on a humanitarian level that is wrong. If a man in a wheel chair antagonized me and threw things at me and swung at me I can honestly tell you I would NEVER punch him in the face as hard as I could and throw him down stairs. Sick world we live in when people justify using all your force on a physically mismatched opponent.
Steve Joseph January 19, 2013 at 08:01 AM
I agree with the very first comment: The shove she gave him was NOT comporable to the uppercut he gave her. I'm sick of reading comments like "she started it" and "treat you like a man." That's complete rubbish. I have to keep reminding myself that most online comments are posted by children. I fear that some of you kids might learn what self defense ACTUALLY is the hard way...by a judging telling you. No, you are NOT permitted or entitled to do whatever you want or see fit to someone who has "stepped" to you the wrong way, without taking into account the physical abilities and limitations fo your opponent. You may remove yourself from danger by neutralizing the threat using "REASONABLE FORCE." When Hughes took those two steps towards Lane, he sunk his self defense claim. There is no pursuit when you are acting in self defense. The assailant is the one who does the pursuing. As the video clearly shows: Hughes pursued Lane. That's where the assault charge came from. The prosecutor is correct. Also, when he said "you wanna act like a man, I'll treat you like a man" that was his admittance that his behavior was not in self defense. He was disciplining her. Totally unacceptable. That's what the courts are for. If we let this man get away with this, and show all of his fans what he got away with it, we are regressing to our primitive ancestry. Anarchy is sure to follow. We are supposed to be a civilization.
Steve Joseph January 19, 2013 at 08:16 AM
Do you think for yourself? Do you use common sense? You say she refused to pay the fare. So why was the driver DRIVING her around? The driver recanted that statement to police (aka he lied to police) and said that she eventually did pay. You are also only focusing on her "harrassment" of him... That's not the way I saw it. I observed a very mutual fight between the two of them where they both had insults and unkind words for one another. Yes she was drunk, I believe that to be true. That's exactly why he should have called for backup instead of driving around with her on board. HE endangered his passengers. You can't deal with inappropriate members of society by uppercutting them. You seem to know this, yet you still condone the driver's actions because it's something you have dreamt of. It's pretty disgusting and hypocritical that you, knowing full well that you could never bring yourself to do it, condone and celebrate the driver doing it. The woman was unable to defend herself against this beast. I don't care that she started it. She did not pose an actual threat to him. He had several other options and yet chose to savagely attack her. I'm sickened by the reaction of so many. She was out of line, but she did NOT deserve to be handled that way and the "man" (I use that term very lightly) is a coward. First for antagonizing her, figuring "what's the worst that could happen?" and next by using such severe force on her.
Steve Joseph January 19, 2013 at 08:20 AM
You are only permitted to use necessary force to protect yourself. What you're saying isn't true. You can't just do whatever you want to someone who "starts it." If you must retaliate, please make sure it's in proportion. Which is to say, a slap for a slap. She shoved him and he went crazy on her. You KNOW he hurt her far worse than she hurt him, and he ENDANGERED her far worse than she endangered him. She didn't shove him hard enough for the bus to swerve.
Steve Joseph January 19, 2013 at 08:24 AM
Ummmm, as long as you want to play the "what if" game, WHAT IFFF he had killed her with that stunt? What if when she fell, she hit her head in such a way that actually ended her life? First of all, perhaps he didn't need to be driving around with her on board when she wasn't fit to be in public and allegedly didn't pay (or did she? conflicting reports... nobody wants to take these red flags into consideration,) perhaps he didn't need to be trading up insults with her, egging her on, etc. Next, she did not shove him hard enough for the bus to swerve. She also walked away. But back to your main point: you think he was justified in unleashing some old fashioned vigilante justice on her, based on what COULD have happened, no matter how unlikely, as a result of her actions? Then I say instead of Hughes' assault charge we give him an attempted aggrevated manslaughter charge. I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist but since you seem to think we should punish people in that way then that has to work both ways.
Chad January 25, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Steve joseph, I understand your sympathetic perspective, but the word civilization actually refers to slavery. Call it what you want

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