Metro Transit driver seriously injured by teens at Southdale

- A Metro Transit bus driver is recovering after he was assaulted by a group of young men at the Southdale Center in Edina, Minn. Thursday afternoon.

Metro Transit’s spokesperson, Howie Padilla, cannot go into detail about the injuries the driver suffered, but multiple sources told Fox 9 they fear the driver may lose an eye, and potentially his livelihood.

The driver has worked for Metro Transit since 1994 and was the union representative for all the men and women who get behind the wheel at Metro Transit.  Around noon during one of his layovers on the 515 route between the Mall of America and Southdale Center, a verbal altercation began between him and a group of teenagers.

By the time the Edina Police Department arrived on the scene, the driver was bleeding from a wound on his head and had no recollection of the assault.

Padilla said all six teenagers involved in the assault were questioned and one was arrested. Surveillance videos from the area are being looked at closely.

“Metro transit police officers and partnering agencies take assaults to our operators seriously,” Padilla said. “Our operators are there to take people from a-b to get them their safely.  And sometimes they don't think about their own safety.”

However on Friday, Fox 9 talked to several drivers who were highly concerned about safety and hoping their fellow operator makes a speedy recovery.

“The injuries were very serious,” Padilla said.  “And while I’m not going to go into details about what those injuries were. I think they had the potential to be life altering.  It’s my understanding the operator is making a good recovery at this time.  Of course we are all hopeful it's a full recovery.”

Investigators are looking into the possibility of this group of teenagers causing any other problems prior to the assault.


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