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.