Show of support for suspended bus driver at RTA Board of Trustees meeting

RAW: RTA bus driver beatdown
RTA Meeting
RTA Meeting
RTA Driver Artis Hughes
RTA Driver Artis Hughes
Cell Phone Video of Bus Beatdown
Cell Phone Video of Bus Beatdown

The RTA Board of Trustees meeting was held on Tuesday morning, and RTA Union members showed up to support the bus driver in a caught on tape beatdown.

Driver Artis Hughes is charged with assault and is on an unpaid suspension for the September 18 incident on Route #5 in Beachwood.

Cell phone video shows passenger Shidea N. Lane egging Hughes on - calling him and his family names and spitting on him.

Hughes, who has been with the RTA for 22-years, then hit the 25-year-old woman with an uppercut.

Video of the bus beatdown went viral, millions of people have watched the confrontation play out.

Hughes claims Lane did not pay her fare, then assaulted and spit on him. He says he had no choice but to protect himself.

Tuesday, Transit Union 268 President William Nix spoke at the RTA Board meeting, urging board members to return Hughes to his job, with back pay.

The Union is also beginning the process of trying to toughen the laws for people who assault bus drivers.

The RTA Board will consider firing Hughes at a pre-termination hearing on Wednesday.

"We're asking the RTA today (Tuesday), the Board to make certain we can have our brother come back to work, he didn't do nothing wrong, he had to defend himself," Nix said. "We're asking the Board to give him a chance, give him his job back."

The Union President went on to say drivers enjoy their jobs, and are committed to get people where they are going safely, but fare jumpers remain a big security issue.

Lane is charged with disorderly conduct and will be in court on November 6.

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