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Metro Transit Bus Driver Accused Of Spitting On Woman

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman claims a drive to a meeting ended with her being spit on by a Metro Transit bus driver.

Sheila Fredriksen said she was driving on Dupont Avenue in Minneapolis Wednesday, when a bus turned onto the narrow street.

Fredriksen and three other drivers were going south when Metro Transit bus #680 turned north onto the street, and the road wasn’t big enough everyone.

“I don’t know if the drivers in front of me had rolled down their windows to give the bus driver a piece of their mind, but I did because I think it was poor judgment. Before I had a chance to say anything, the bus driver spit on me,” said Fredriksen.

Fredriksen says the spit landed in her hair, making a bad situation worse.

“I feel like it’s a bullying thing. They are the bigger vehicle. The thought of ‘I’m the bus and I still have the right away,’ I think it becomes worse. I think we as drivers are expected to disappear from the road,” said Sheila.

Metro Transit showed WCCO-TV video of the altercation Thursday afternoon. There are five surveillance cameras on the bus. While you can hear words being exchanged between Sheila and the bus driver, none of the cameras shows their faces, and none of the cameras are in position to show anyone being spit on.

Metro Transit did not let WCCO-TV put the video in the story, but they are standing by their driver, saying she never spit on Sheila and actually stopped the bus to allow Sheila to pass.

They say the driver is a 30-year veteran who has received praise from a number of passengers over the past year.

Metro Transit does agree with Fredriksen on one thing, that the excessive snow has made the streets narrower than past winters.

“It’s winter, I think we have had the second most snow ever to this point, and for that to be the case and for us to operate as well as we do, I think drivers are doing a fantastic job,” said Brian Funk, Metro Transit’s director of field operations.

Fredriksen says what she would like most of all is for bus drivers to use better judgment on city streets, and perhaps consider alternate routes.

“Exercise judgment. Really that’s the message and what a lot of us would ask for — exercise judgment,” said Fredriksen.

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