Metro workers say the agency must do more to protect them after a woman was arrested for pouring a cup of urine on a Metrobus driver. The largest union of Metro employees could take action by the weekend.
Opal Brown of Southeast Washington was arrested for simple assault Wednesday. Metro Transit Police said she was riding the X2 bus in Northeast last Saturday when the driver told her to have a nice day. Police said Brown poured a cup of urine on the driver.
"I’m disgusted at the behavior of somebody urinating on a fellow employee,” said Metrobus operator Jampsea Campbell, who drives the X2 route. She said the victim became a Metrobus driver fewer than 90 days ago.
Campbell said passengers assault drivers consistently. Metro has acknowledged issues on the X2 and installed video monitors and sliding Plexiglass barriers to protect drivers.
Metrobus operator Barry Wilson recalled the time a passenger spat in his face last year. He said all that Metro can do now is add Metro Transit Police officers on buses.
“I understand that they might be understaffed right now, but we've been having assaults for years,” said Wilson. “I've been here 18 years and we've been having assaults."
The union, ATU Local 689, wants to take action soon. Drivers said it’s Metro's turn to steer them to safety.
“It's going to have to lead to a change because we as members of Local 689 are taking actions within ourselves to protect our operators out on the line,” said Wilson.