PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A TriMet bus driver is recovering after the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said she was stabbed during her route.
Deputies said they took Anna Karen Perez Velador and Cody Christopher Richardson into custody following the incident.
The incident has the bus union demanding safer conditions for their drivers.
According to court documents, the driver thought two of her riders may have been intoxicated and when she asked all riders to get off the bus at the end of the route, those two passengers stayed on the bus.
The documents said that the driver was stabbed in her leg and had to jump out the window to escape.
Union president Shirley Block said they’ve been hearing many reports of drivers’ safety being threatened.
“Not again, was my reaction. It’s just, like, it’s constantly, daily, we’re hearing something. Spit on, coffee thrown on them, and now a stabbing? It’s just heart-wrenching,” said Block. “Drivers complain constantly about the fentanyl usage, people getting on the bus, disrespecting them, getting on trains, disrespecting other passengers, the safety of everyone, it’s out of control.”
Block thinks barriers that completely shut off the driver from the rest of the bus would be helpful for all buses.
A representative with TriMet said the region is in crisis regarding homelessness, mental health, drugs, addiction and crime and they say they’re working to address those issues.
“We more than doubled our contract security officers from the start of 2022 until now, we continue to add more as we can, there is a national security offer shortage, we’ve increased our pay to get more on board,” said Roberta Alstadt with TriMet.
They also said they’re taking a look at partitions in buses and considering changing them.