MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis father is calling for change after his daughter was attacked while waiting for a Metro Transit bus.
T.J. Richardson says his 14-year-old daughter had just left an after-school activity and was on the bus stop near 43rd Avenue and Penn Avenue when she was attacked.READ MORE: Family Mourns 'Loving' And 'Gentle' St. Paul Man After Fatal Hit-And-Run
“She sent me the text, ‘Dad, I’m on my way home,'” Richardson said.
But while waiting at the bus stop, she was approached by six masked men.
“One of them ended up lunging at her,” he said. “She ended up falling down on the ground and hitting her head on the concrete.”
Richardson says the men jumped on her and tried to get her to a place where no one could see or hear her screams.
“They were just trying to tell her to keep quiet,’Be quiet or we’re going to cut you,'” Richardson said.
The teen was able to get away, and she ran nearly three miles home.
Her attackers took her cell phone.
“I finally heard the door open and then I heard her crying and screaming,” he said.READ MORE: Minnesota Gophers Beat Maryland 34-16
Richardson says words can’t express his rage.
“The main thing that concerns me is mixing kids in with adults,” he said.
He went to Minneapolis Public Schools, asking for an end to the Go-To Pass program, which gives students access to city buses.
A MPS spokesperson says the district is taking the incident seriously.
They plan to have principals work with Metro Transit and Minneapolis Police to determine trouble spots and how to keep students safe.
MPS says the feedback they hear about the program is far more positive than negative. The district says it gives students more mobility and opportunity to take part in sports and extracurricular activities.
But this father thinks it puts his child in a world she has yet learned to navigate.
“One of the things I wanted to know is who said this was a good idea?” Richardson said.
Minneapolis Public Schools says the Go-To Pass program has helped high school attendance as well. In the past, students who missed the yellow bus opted to stay at home. Now if they miss a city bus, another is there in minutes.MORE NEWS: 5 People Injured In House Explosion In Cambridge
MPS says it will have a response to Richardson’s concerns by Monday.