New York Daily News
A good Samaritan didn’t want to let a man get away with smashing an MTA bus window and attacking a bus driver in the Bronx — so he chased down the suspect and held him until cops arrived.
Accused attacker Edward Guerrero, 28, faces misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief charges in the incident around 12:20 p.m. Friday on the Grand Concourse in Fordham Heights. Leaders of Transport Workers Union Local 100 want the charges against Guerrero upgraded to felonies.
Guerrero appeared upset that he wasn’t allowed to board the northbound Bx1 bus between stops, recounted the bus operator, Charline Alston, 47.
Around E. 181 St., Guerrero ran in front of the bus “and started yelling obscene things, and using profanity,” Alston said.
Alston notified her command center of the problem, and said that because Guerrero would not move, she was forced to stop the bus.
Suddenly, Guerrero threw an object of some kind through a driver’s side window, Alston said.
“He comes through the window and just starts punching me in the back of my head everywhere,” Alston recalled. “I’m frightened, I’m traumatized, because I never expected to go to work and get assaulted for doing my job.”
When Guerrero ran off, Alston rolled the bus forward a few feet to a place where it could be parked safely, and opened the passenger doors.
That was Yomboue Bierre Bama’s chance.
Bama, 35, a Bronx resident and immigrant from Burkina Faso, chased Guerrero across the Grand Concourse. He explained his decision to pursue the suspect: “We have to show some people in the city if the cops are not around, it doesn’t mean you can assault somebody.”
He realized that chasing a criminal in the Bronx wasn’t the safest thing he could do. “God help me, because I didn’t know if he had a knife or something,” Bama said. “But I just did it.”
Bama said he grabbed Guerrero and took him back to the bus. Guerrero bit and spat on him, Bama said. “He said he was going to kill me,” he recalled.
Police soon arrived, and placed Guerrero under arrest. Alston was treated and released at a nearby hospital.
Local 100 Vice President Richie Davis expressed anger that the top charges against Guerrero are misdemeanors.
“This was a felony assault and these charges must be upgraded,” Davis said. “We are demanding that the Bronx District Attorney’s office treat this much more seriously.”
A spokesperson for Bronx DA Darcel Clark could not immediately be reached.
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