DART Officials Relaunch Investigation Into Employee, Passenger Brawl

By Ben Russell
|  Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014  |  Updated 11:57 PM CDT
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Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials confirmed Wednesday they have relaunched an investigation into an October 2013 fight aboard a DART bus involving a passenger and an off-duty driver.

The video, posted to YouTube last month, and emailed recently to NBC DFW news partner The Dallas Morning News, shows the driver, who has not been identified, exchanging punches and
slaps with another woman, while the two argue and stand in the aisle of the moving bus.

"It's absolutely the wrong thing to happen. Clearly it's a violation of policy," said DART spokesperson Morgan Lyons about what is seen in the video. "While the operator has the right to protect herself, clearly they are trained to deescalate the situation."

Lyons told NBC DFW that the off-duty driver had intervened prior to the start of the video when the passenger reportedly began to argue with and approach the driver operating the bus.

Both DART employees, who Lyons describes as "veteran operators," filed reports with DART police following the incident, but since neither of the women involved in the fight sought to press charges the investigation was dropped. The video, however, brings new evidence to light which was not detailed in those reports, Lyons said.

The bus was traveling on Interstate 35E at the time of the fight, which prevented the driver at the wheel from stopping and forcing the women to exit, Lyons said.

It is not clear what, if any, punishment the two DART employees were given as a result of the initial investigation, according to Lyons, who added that he could not speculate on what punishment could be leveled now that this video has surfaced.

"We'll take a look at the video, provide some additional detail, and we'll see if we need to take additional steps," Lyons said. 

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