One of the biggest hits locally this year wasn't in the box office, it was on an RTA bus in Beachwood.
On October 11 a video of a bus driver punching a passenger on an RTA bus went viral online is from an incident in Beachwood.
Warning: Video contains graphic scenes and strong language.
The video, first posted on the website WorldStarHipHop.com Oct. 11, has since been viewed nearly 17 million times there and reportings on YouTube have been viewed over 375,000 times.
In the shaky, graphic video, a woman, Shidea Lane, 25, is seen standing at the front of the bus arguing with the driver, Artis Hughes, 59. The two threaten each other and the woman approaches the driver, possibly striking him.
Hughes has been an employee of RTA for 22 years.
Hughes stops the bus and gets out of his seat. Someone yells, "You going to jail now!" and then the driver uppercuts the woman and throws her off the bus.
She climbs back on the bus and the two scuffle before the video cuts off.
According to an RTA spokesperson, the video was taken Sept. 18 on Route 5, which runs down Chagrin Boulevard from Warrensville Center Road to Lander Road with a loop south on Richmond Road to northbound Park East Drive.
In an emailed statement following the incident, RTA wrote, "RTA saw the video posted on YouTube of the operator incident on October 11. Through the investigation, we believe the incident occurred on Sept. 18. Upon identifying the driver, he was immediately suspended and removed from duty. His behavior is absolutely unacceptable.
RTA added that Lane did not press charges against the driver the day of the incident.
oth Lane and Hughes were criminally charged on Oct. 18.
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