Man Accused Of Threating Metro Transit Driver On Bus

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 52-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of threatening a Metro Transit bus driver and several other people, including police, according to charges filed Friday in Hennepin County Court.

Gene Arthur Gates Jr. was charged with one count of interference with a transit operator in connection with the incident, which happened on Wednesday.

According to a criminal complaint, Gates got on a Metro Transit bus at about 2 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of 18th Avenue NE and Central Avenue in Minneapolis. Without paying a fare, Gates sat in the first seat on the bus, made a cell phone call, got angry, stood up and starting yelling and swearing into the phone.

The bus driver told Gates to sit down and end his call. He sat down briefly.

The complaint states Gates then approached the driver and offered $10,000 to take him anywhere he wanted. The bus got to 20th Avenue and Central Avenue when Gates told the bus driver he was “done being nice.” The bus driver stopped the bus and ordered Gates off.

Gates became enraged and threatened to assault and kill the driver, according to the complaint. A bus alarm was activated and Gates charged toward the driver. Before Gates could get there, a passenger on the bus grabbed him and forced him off the bus.

As he got off the bus, Gates turned and spit at someone on the bus, according to the complaint. He then crossed the street and entered a locksmith business, where he was later arrested.

While in Metro Transit Police custody, Gates kicked at the squad car’s partition glass and made several threats to kill people, including officers.

Gates is in the Hennepin County Jail and faces up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

  • I Couldn't Do It!

    As if being a police officer wasn’t hard enough, try being a Metro Transit police officer. It’s literally like gathering all the trashy thugs, criminals, and baby mamas and throwing them on a bus. Props to them.

  • Nancy Aleshire

    Disagree with your statement, Jody. There also are decent people with jobs riding the bus who do not own cars, as well as senior citizens and those with disabilities. Why should a few troublemaking geng-trash make it miserable for the decent majority? Let’s take back control of our buses and make it the pleasant experience it used to be. Large numbers of the decent majority riding buses have cell pnones. Make use of them to call 911 when there is a problem.

    • @ Bus Hoe nancy

      Since when is a bus ride a “pleasant experience”??? You really need to see the world..

  • Rocky

    your both right, but this trach needs to be locked up, he should have been kicked off as soon as he entered without paying, i bet i can correctly quess his skin color..

    • ez

      Can you spell?

  • Kevin

    Oh Jennifer…your such a racist!

    • true

      yo honky …. that the beetch is

  • B in MPLS

    No fare no ride. That should have been enforced and this man should have been kicked off immediately.

    Also I agree that there is a perception that the bus (not so much the light rail) is for poor minority people who can’t afford cars. That isn’t true at all. I am a middle class white guy that has a car that I drive all the time, but I love taking the bus from my downtown condo to my job in the western suburbs because it is easy and relaxing in traffic. It is great!!

    The perception that the bus is only for poor, trashy people is based on stereotypes and exaggerations. Yes, there is always a little bit of riffraff on the bus, but in comes in all shapes, sizes, genders and races. The way you fix it is not by being racist — it is by “taking back the bus.” Through social pressures we can demand dignity, respect and (hopefully) relatively good hygiene from riders… regardless of socioeconomic or racial makeup.

    40 years ago everyone took public transit and loved it. Today, everyone sits in their car and screams at the traffic in a stressful, frenzied rage. Which is better?

    • @ B in mpls

      Typical Liberal jibberish

    • Owl

      Well, “Good Luck” is all I can say about your wish as to the “relatively good hygiene” from other riders. Otherwise I am in complete agreement with your statement. I don’t know if I “love” riding the bus, but most of the time it’s not too bad.

  • Scott Schumacher

    I have a family member who drives for MetroTransit, and every day he has this kind of story where folks get out of hand and it could turn violent at any moment. MetroTransit’s administration is not doing enough (or anything really) to prevent this kind of violence on the bus and toward drivers. Give them a plexiglass shield or door, and encourage more drivers to carry pepper spray, or allow those with Concealed Carry Permits to carry while driving. This is a huge problem.

  • Trina

    Funny nobody noticed the grammatical error which would be THREATING which should be THREATENING. Hmmmmm

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