WOODLAND HILLS— A 17-year-old male suspect has been arrested in connection to a stabbing of a Metro bus driver on Wednesday, May 25, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michael Moore announced at a news conference this afternoon. Due to the suspect being a minor, LAPD will not disclose the details of his identity at this time.
At around 5:15 p.m. at the corner of Erwin street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, a 61-year-old male bus driver was conducting a stop. The male suspect – described as a White male, six feet tall, blonde, curly hair with a thin, yet muscular build – entered the bus and got into a verbal argument with the bus driver, reportedly over “fair evasion.” During the verbal altercation, both individuals stepped out of the bus and onto the street, where the bus driver was attempting to seek assistance with the “unruly passenger.” The suspect proceeded to stab the driver multiple times in the neck, chest and back, “causing grievous injuries.” The suspect then fled away from the location on foot.
Responding units and the Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived at the scene and transported the victim – who’s identity was not disclosed – to Northridge Hospital, where he remains in “extremely critical condition” but is “still alive.” The victim has reportedly undergone surgery for his injuries.
“The nature of the injuries that [the victim] sustained were definitely beyond life-threatening, and certainly in many other instances, he wouldn’t have survived the level of this attack,” Chief Moore said in praise of the first responders and hospital staff’s efforts.
On Thursday morning, May 25, LAPD announced that they were offering a reward to anyone with information that would lead to the suspects arrest. According to Chief Moore, with the help of the media, the community was able to provide tips and leads to the LAPD. Within 22 hours from the incident, the suspect was arrested by Thursday afternoon.
“1.3 million people travel the bus lines in this region every day. Majority of the time they are safe. Bus ridership safety is something the Los Angeles Police Department takes very seriously,” Chief Moore said during today’s conference. “The largest challenge we face is the low levels of disorderly conduct; people who are verbally abusive to bus operators, and individuals who don’t believe that they have to follow the code of conduct. This type of vicious assault is an anomaly.”
The family of the victim is “absolutely traumatized” and asks for privacy and space from the media at this time.
This investigation remains ongoing.