A man was taken into custody Saturday night in connection with the stabbing of an MBTA bus driver in Lynn, Massachusetts.
MBTA Transit Police said a preliminary investigation showed that a 53-year-old Lynn man was traveling on the Route 426 bus on Fenton Street when he allegedly stabbed the female bus driver for no apparent reason.
"The guy was just nuts. Just got up and started swinging at people," said John Tracy, who was driving by when the incident occurred.
Tracy managed to photograph the attack.
"She was crying," he said. "She said, 'am I OK?'"
The injured driver was transported to an area hospital to be treated for two non-life threatening stab wounds to her back. She is expected to be OK.
Officials said passengers on board the bus were able to intervene during the assault and detained the man until police arrived.
"We are extremely grateful to the passengers who interjected themselves to stop the assailant and prevent further harm to our employee. 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," said MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan.
Jimmy O'Brien, the president of the Boston Carmen's Union Local 589, issued a statement addressing the incident.
"We are grateful to the passengers who stepped up and intervened on behalf of the driver, their bravery helped stop this vicious attack," said O'Brien.
"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. This is unacceptable. The vast majority of operators are on old buses that lack sufficient safety barriers. Replacing a handful of buses is not enough, it's time to bring the entire fleet of buses into the 21st century and give operators the security and protection they need. No more excuses, it needs to happen now.
The MBTA needs to make a real commitment - and investment - in ensuring the safety of its employees. No one should have to go to work everyday fearing for their safety."
The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, is facing charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.