WASHINGTON — A man is facing charges after officials say he threatened a Metrobus driver with a knife Tuesday morning.
A passenger threatened the driver of a X2 Metrobus with a knife near the intersection of 8th and H streets Northeast shortly before noon Tuesday, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.
The passenger, identified as Davon Abney, boarded the bus without paying. When the bus operator confronted him, they got into an altercation and Abney pulled out a folding knife and threatened to kill the bus driver, Stessel said.
Abney made another threat as he exited the bus, Stessel added.
Police located Abney nearby and arrested him. He is charged with assault with dangerous weapon, threats to do bodily harm and possession of prohibited weapon.
Metro Transit Police have had prior contact with Abney. He has been cited three times for fare evasion, one time for playing loud music and one time for his involvement in a melee, Stessel said.
The Amalgamated Transit Union said Abney has spit on multiple bus drivers as well.
ATU Local 689, the union that represents bus operators and other Metro employees, is renewing its call for enhanced security following a rash of driver assaults. Last month, a woman threw her own urine on a Metrobus driver.
“Transit assaults are at an epidemic level and Metro must address this urgent issue of safety so that workers and the riding public are protected,” the union said in a Tuesday news release.
The union is calling for an immediate increase in Metro Transit Police presence and the reclassification of assaults as felonies. Also, it wants to ban repeat offenders from using the system.
“We in union agree in the need for stronger penalties for offenders,” Stessel said. “When someone is dangerous on a bus, they are putting everyone on the bus at risk.”
Below is a map with the location of the incident Tuesday: