OLYMPIA, Wash. - An Olympia bus driver was attacked by a rider after an argument between the two erupted.
The violence was caught on camera Tuesday afternoon.
WARNING: Video contains graphic language that some viewers may find disturbing.
Police said the Intercity Transit bus driver, Robert Weigelt, was on his route on the west side of Olympia when he and a rider began to argue. That bus rider has been identified as 24-year-old Kiel Duggins.
The driver then stopped and ordered the man off the bus.
Surveillance video showed the two men at first pushing one another. Then Duggins began punching the driver in the face multiple times while screaming obscenities.
A Good Samaritan on the bus saw what was happening and grabbed on to Duggins and tried to pull him off of the driver.
“If this guy doesn’t stop he’s going to do some serious damage to this guy. There’s no way I’m going to be a witness to a murder,” said River Nason.
The attack only lasts about 60 seconds but the driver is punched more than 20 times. Duggins ran from the bus.
Weigelt has two black eyes and his nose was broken. Wednesday night he said he couldn’t really remember what happened after the first couple punches. He credits Nason with helping to save his life.
Witnesses called police, but officers couldn’t immediately find the attacker. He was found nearly two hours later at an IT transit center downtown after transit employees recognized the man from photos of the incident and called police.
Duggins is being held in the Thurston County Jail for investigation of assault. His bail is set at $20,000 dollars.
Both police and InterCity Transit are investigating. “Drivers are trained to do what they need to do to take care of themselves and protect our passengers, “explained Kris Fransen, InterCity Transit.
Ed Bricker, with the Transit Union, Local 1765, says the attack is worse than anything he’s seen. He said driver are trained to protect the passengers and themselves.
In 5.5 million boardings in Olympia, this was the worst attack. Bricker hopes there aren’t any repercussions for the driver.