NYC transit workers rally for safety after series of violent attacks on employees

Members of New York City's Transit Workers Union came out Tuesday in a show of support for workers who have been violently attacked on the job. 

Among the victims of a recent string of assaults is a bus driver who is struggling to return to the job that pays the bills after she was punched in the face by an angry passenger. 

"It happened on Friday, June 7th. It happened in the morning, 11:30 am," the victim recalled at Tuesday afternoon's press conference.

The driver didn’t want to share her name but said the assault had been fresh on her mind since it happened. As a result of the attack, the woman said she now wears an eye patch, a reminder of what’s become an intense source of anxiety for the mother of three. 

"I’m driving and I’m on my way to the last stop and no one presses the bell, so the guy gets up, and he says ‘You passed my stop. Can you let me off.’" the driver recalled. 

She said, out of courtesy for other passengers on board, she couldn’t let the man off. 

"Before I could finish I was getting punched in my face driving and I still had to make sure I don’t crash and keep people safe on the bus," the victim explained.

What adds to her worry is this isn’t the first time for her or her colleagues who feel like they’ve become the city's punching bags for pent-up anger. 

Just the day prior, bus driver Isaac Egharevba, who has 17 years of service, was violently attacked while operating a bus near the Grand Ave Depot after a route detour apparently made several passengers angry.

One of those passengers, an unknown man, out of nowhere sliced the left side of the bus driver’s face between his neck and jaw.

While union officials stopped short of sharing stats on assaults on their employees, they said the last few days have been a whirlwind, including multiple troubling incidents, and were direct about who needs to step up for them so they can make it back home to their families safe. 

"We want Janno Lieber to deploy all of his resources, the MTA police, they brought the national guard out and put them on the subways but that did not reach the surface," said a TWU local 100 safety official.

So far, the MTA hasn't responded to FOX5's request for comment; however, we'll share their response as soon as it's made available.