LYNN (CBS) — A woman driving an MBTA bus in Lynn was stabbed twice Saturday night.
MBTA Transit Police said passengers on the bus rushed to the driver’s aid–and said that her wounds were not seen as life-threatening.
They said the attack happened on a Route 426 bus on Fenton Street around 11:47 p.m.
Rachel Felice was one of the riders who tried to help the driver.
“She just kept asking me, ‘why did he do this?’ I think it was unprovoked. I don’t think that she did anything,” Felice recalled. “A passenger said that he (the attacker) first tried to lunge at him with the knife and then ran to the front door which was closed.”
The accused attacker, a 53-year-old Lynn man, was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Transit Police said he attacked the driver without any provocation. He has not yet been identified.
Several passengers pulled the man off the driver, and were able to hold him down until Lynn and MBTA Transit Police could arrive.
The driver suffered stab wounds to her neck and back. She was taken to a local hospital.
“Somebody had a sweater to her back and we were holding her and we eventually laid her down because there was a lot of blood,” said Felice.
In a statement, the MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan said, “We are extremely grateful to the passengers who interjected themselves to stop the assailant and prevent further harm to our employee.”
He continued, “We are equally grateful to the our partners at the Lynn Police Department who responded expeditiously to take control from the passengers detaining the suspect. Attacks such as this on MBTA employees are unconscionable and will be steadfastly pursued by Transit Police at every phase.”
The President of the MBTA driver’s union, Boston Carmen Union, Local 589 called the attack “unacceptable” and pointed out that the all the MBTA buses need better security and driver protection.
President Jimmy O’Brien also said, “Bus operators have the hardest jobs in the MBTA. Everyday operators are harassed. Assaults have become too common. Many no longer report all of the incidents because they have come to expect it as part of their job.”
Felice wished the driver a speedy recovery. She never got the woman’s name.
“I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but I’ll definitely always remember her,” Felice said.
The attack is still under investigation.