QUINCY (CBS) — A Boston man appeared before a judge in Quincy District Court Tuesday, one day after he allegedly attacked a bus driver, causing the bus to crash and injure 16 people. Matthew Young, 24, pleaded not guilty and will be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing next week.
Prosecutors said Young punched the Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT) driver, a 48-year-old Brockton man, after he refused to make an extra stop for Young.
“[Young] was shouting ‘let me off the bus.’ The defendant stated that he was shouting because he was upset and had anxiety…He said that he was coming to Randolph to visit a friend. He stated that due to him not knowing the area he requested to get off the BAT bus at North Main Street. After multiple times of requesting for the bus driver to stop the bus, he approached him and stated, ‘If you don’t stop the bus I will punch you in the face,'” said Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Meredith Underwood.
The District Attorney said that after Young punched the driver, “unknown passengers on the bus” took him to the ground. The bus driver told police he blacked out and lost control — that’s when the bus crashed into a car and a utility pole on North Main Street in Randolph.
Sixteen people were taken to the hospital including the driver and passenger of the car that was hit by the bus, police said. One of the victims was a 10-year-old boy.
Police said Young admitted to punching the driver. He was charged with assault and battery resulting in serious bodily injury, assault and battery on a public employee, and wrongful interference of a bus driver. He cried as he told the court he understood the charges.
Young’s defense attorney said Young is homeless and has a “sympathetic” mental health history.
BAT Administrator Michael Lambert said in a statement, “The safety of our customers and employees are our top priorities. We thank the Randolph first responders for their quick action last night and are working with all our partners to ensure a thorough investigation.”