Increased security measures on LA Metro buses – NBC Los Angeles

Recent violent attacks and robberies on Los Angeles Metro buses are prompting additional security measures from the transit authority and police.

In the last two weeks, two stabbings, an assault and a series of robberies were reported on LA Metro buses. On Saturday, an audio was recorded of a bus driver pleading with a man who police said berated then punched and stabbed him.

The driver survived the violence and law enforcement is continuing to search for the attacker.

On Thursday, a man attacked a different driver after she refused to let him aboard an out-of-service bus in Santa Monica. It is unclear if an arrest has been made in that case.

“Disgusting is the word I use. And now, it’s getting worse everywhere,” said John M. Ellis, General Chairman of SMART Union, which represents 4,500 Metro bus operators and 500 train operators.

In a statement to NBC4, the press secretary for Metro Board Chair and LA Mayor Karen Bass said the transit company has increased safety precautions.

“Metro has stepped up the presence of transit security officers on its bus system as part of its broader safety strategy and will be installing reinforced barriers to further protect operators,” the statement read.

LAPD’s Deputy Chief of Transit Services, Don Graham, said that although the recent incidents are concerning, violent crime on transit has been down by 41% in the last year. He also pointed out that 30 LAPD officers sit on buses on lines that have been considered the most prone to violence.

Graham said he believes stronger prosecution could curb the violence. According to the official, people spit or throw liquid on drivers but since those kinds of confrontations aren’t considered highly violent crimes, perpetrators don’t’ see strict consequences in court. Transit police is now working with the district attorney’s office to create stronger prosecution.

Metro released the following statement regarding the matter:

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