Reporting Nina Moini
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Adrieanne Simmons, a St. Paul woman who said she was punched in the head by a bus driver repeatedly, wants to know why he’s back on the job.
Her bus driver was charged with misdemeanor assault, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property in the October incident, but he’s back behind the wheel.
James Yang, 46, has been a Metro Transit driver since 1999 and has a good record.
A month after she said she was attacked by her bus driver, there’s still a hint of the bruises he left on her face.
But her emotions, she said, are still as raw as the day it happened.
“I’m not going to cry because if I cry he still has that power over me,” she said.
Simmons said she got on the Metro Transit Bus on Oct. 2 and noticed her bus driver was acting nasty toward passengers. She decided to speak up and take his picture to report him. That was something he did not like, she said.
“He gets out of the seat and snatches my phone out of my hand,” she said.
According to Simmons and a criminal complaint against James Yang, the two got into a heated argument after he grabbed her phone and smashed it on the ground.
The argument turned violent when Yang punched Simmons in the head multiple times.
Simmons said she reached for her pocket knife after Yang grabbed a hammer from his toolkit and began swinging toward her.
Shortly after, Metro Transit Police broke things up.
Metro Transit Police said Yang was withheld from work until last Friday as there is an internal investigation. He is now on a “last chance” agreement with Metro Transit. He’ll undergo mandatory counseling, and faces termination for any future misconduct.
He has a court date on Jan. 24.
The driver did get a cut on his lip during the struggle, but Simmons is not facing any charges at this time.
Amalgamated Transit Union, the union Yang is a member of, declined to comment.