King County Metro operators assaulted nearly 100 times a year

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:


SEATTLE - Following the horrific bus shooting at point blank range that nearly killed King County Metro bus driver Deloy Dupuis, KIRO 7 began investigating violence on the buses.

Last month an investigation uncovered never before broadcast surveillance video that showed how drivers were reporting more passenger-on-passenger violence.

Through further research KIRO 7 found that assaults on bus drivers have held somewhat steady during the last few years.

Drivers themselves reported they were attacked 85 times in 2010, 84 times in 2011, 107 times in 2012. Drivers are on pace for about 97 attacks so far this year.

"We are working closely with them at each of the bases, said King County Sheriff's Major Dave Jutilla, who is in charge of the Metro Police. "Transit police go there and meet with them on a monthly basis to hear what the issues and problems are out on their routes."

However, bus driver Nathanael Chappelle, who is also the Amalgamated Transit Union's security chair, said he thinks more could be done.

Chappelle would like to see even more training from Metro. He also hopes King County and Seattle can better address some of the mental illness problems drivers frequently are confronted with on their buses

"That is the missing equation," he said. "We can bring that back, then I think we can begin to get a handle on this."