Cleveland, OH – Artis Hughes, also known as the “Uppercut Bus Driver,” has been fired for punching a female passenger in the face.
According to The Plain Dealer, the decision to terminate Hughes’ employment was delivered on Tuesday (November 6).
“The employee handbook says an employee can be discharged if he uses overt force, strikes … a member of the public,” explained Mary Shaffer, spokesperson for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. We understand he feels that his actions were in self-defense, but we disagree. The appropriate action should have been to pull over the bus and alert transit police and let them handle it.”
The bus driver was suspended without pay for delivering a uppercut to the face of 25-year-old passenger Shi’ Dea Lane after video of the incident went viral. Although the assault took place on November 18, Hughes wasn’t suspended until October 11.
Hughes maintains that the passenger struck him during the confrontation, an allegation Lane’s lawyer denies. The bus driver expressed his unhappiness with the decision at a recent press conference.
“I feel let down,” he said. “I feel like they should support their drivers. I was just trying to do my job. … I’ve run over those events in my mind 1,000 times and I don’t know what I could have done differently.”
According to the Christian Post, Lane has been charged with disorderly conduct for her role in the altercation.
“It’s amazing to see how a man would hit a woman that hard. Are you serious? You could have pulled me off the bus. You can’t really touch anyone, but for real? You really punched me?” Lane said of the assault.
Video of the bus driver’s infamous uppercut has been embedded below. Since the clip does contain foul language and violence, this one probably isn’t safe for work. Do you think Artis Hughes should have been fired for assault his passenger?