BURBANK, California – A Metro bus driver in downtown Burbank ended up in the ICU after a brutal assault on December 26, prompting concerns about safety and communication issues within the public transportation system.
The attack, which took place at the Burbank station, was not publicly announced until NBC4 received a tip more than a week later. The Burbank Police Department arrested 32-year-old Terry Wyatt, who is unhoused, for the assault. Metro revealed that the driver was inspecting a bus when he was assaulted, leaving him unconscious. The driver is now recovering at home.
This incident raised concerns among other Metro bus drivers, with one anonymously admitting that he himself has been attacked numerous times. The lack of ability to defend themselves was a common issue for bus drivers.
The Burbank assault was not an isolated incident, as a series of violent events involving Metro occurred in December alone. These include a fatal stabbing on board a train in South LA and a shooting near a Hyde Park Metro Station. The delayed communication from Metro about the assault raised questions about transparency and public safety awareness.
Addressing the lack of public announcement, a Metro spokesperson mentioned that typically, law enforcement would issue a media advisory about such crimes, especially if the suspect is still at large. The quick apprehension of the suspect by the Burbank Police Department may have contributed to the delayed announcement.
Community members using Metro in the area expressed the need for immediate sharing of such news, highlighting the importance of knowing the potential dangers in their vicinity. After the arrest, the District Attorney filed charges for felony battery and elder abuse against Wyatt, indicating the severity and legal consequences of the attack.