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Man charged in knife attack on DDOT driver

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Man charged in knife attack on DDOT driver

Eric D. Lawrence , Detroit Free Press 6:05 p.m. EST December 2, 2016

A Detroit man has been charged in a knife attack on a bus driver earlier this week.


Willie DeQuan Lindsey, 34, was arraigned this afternoon in 36th District Court in Detroit on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and felonious assault. Bail was set at $250,000, and a not guilty plea was entered by the court on his behalf. A probable cause conference was scheduled for Thursday.


The most serious charge – assault with intent to do great bodily harm – carries a possible 10-year prison sentence, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.


Lindsey is accused of getting on a Detroit Department of Transportation bus about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at McNichols and Greenfield on Detroit's west side and demanding to be taken to a hospital (it's unclear why). When the 51-year-old bus driver refused, Lindsey is accused of cutting his left cheek with a knife.


"Passengers on the bus restrained Lindsey until the police arrived and arrested him. The bus driver was taken to a local hospital and was treated for his injuries," the prosecutor's office said in a news release.


In an email, DDOT said the bus driver will not return to work until he is cleared by his doctor. He has been a driver for 20 years. The attack happened on the No. 32 McNichols route.


Although bus driver security has been a concern in previous years, DDOT touted reduced incidents so far this year and pointed to efforts to provide a safer environment for drivers.


DDOT said this was the third driver assaulted this year -- two with a knife and one with a bottle -- and that suspects were apprehended almost immediately in each case.


"While even one assault is too many, we are proud of the fact that we have had only two other drivers this year that have been seriously assaulted and we have seen a 40% incident reduction over the past three years. We take that low number to be a testament to our increased efforts to provide a safe transportation experience for our customers. Security remains a priority and we strive to always do better, but we already do significant work to keep drivers safe," the emailed message said.


It noted that DDOT transports more than 25 million passengers per year and that cameras have been installed inside and outside of "nearly all" of the department's coaches. In addition, DDOT has "a dedicated police force that maintains a presence on many buses every day."


A message seeking comment was left for a bus drivers union official.



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