• Petitioned Mary Shaffer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

This petition was delivered to:

Mary Shaffer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Reinstate Artis Hughes, the bus driver who fought off his female attacker

    1. Petition by

      Andrei Pambuccian

      Sheffield, United Kingdom

On October the 11th, 2012, Artis Hughes, a middle-aged black man, allowed a 25-year-old black woman called Shidea N. Lane to board his bus.

On asking for her fare, she refused to pay, claiming she had left her backpack at home, and complained to mr. Hughes repeatedly about not being allowed to board without paying. Eventually, she did pay (having lied about having no money), calling mr. Hughes a "bitch" in the process. She and mr. Hughes engaged in a verbal argument as he drove the bus onward, and after threatening to spit on mr. Hughes repeatedly, ms. Lane did spit on him, then grabbed at his head and punched him; several phone cameras held by passagers documented the physical assault.

In response to this, mr. Hughes stopped the bus, stood up, punched her in the face, threw her off the bus and proceeded to throw out her belongings. As he did so, she returned to the bus, and he attempted to throw her out again, only to cause her to fall on the floor. A small group of passagers came between them, and after a few moments, ms. Lane stood up and attempted to strike mr. Hughes, prompting him to strike back. The fight continued for several seconds and was broken up by the intervening passagers. Afterwards, ms. Lane threatened mr. Hughes with a beating from, presumably, her boyfriend (her n**ger, in her own words), as well as with jail time.

The Regional Transit Authority's response was to suspend mr. Hughes pending an investigation. We, the undersigned, acknowledge that public opinion will have an infuluence on the investigation's outcome, and so we state our belief that following this investigation, mr. Hughes should be reinstated and receive the RTA's support in the wake of the incident.

As a bus driver, mr. Hughes was lied to, insulted, threatened and eventually attacked by one of the passagers. He was clearly justified in striking back. Were he to suffer any negative consequences to his employment as a result of defending himself and striking back, this would set a disasterous precedent: he and other employees would legitimately believe that their workplace expects them to put up with harrassment, and that they will lose their jobs if they choose to stand up for themselves. Rather than dismissing mr. Hughes, the RTA should begin to enforce a zero tolerance policy towards the abuse of staff by passagers, one that could enable people like mr. Hughes to do their jobs with dignity and security.

As well as being a bus driver, mr. Hughes is a man, and ms. Lane is a woman. We continue to live in a world in which some people see fit to scold men for fighting back against the women who abuse them. After mr. Hughes struck ms. Lane, a woman could be heard protesting about it, saying "That's a [censored] female". Mr. Hughes responded by saying: "I don't care. You want to be man? I'm going to treat you like a man!" This is a healthy attitude: if men refuse to strike back, fearing that the law will favour their female abusers over them, we create an environment in which women can harrass and victimize men with impunity. Instead, a man's decision to fight back against a woman should be respected.

It is for these reasons - the fact that the bus driver was the real victim and was justified in hitting back; that he and other bus drivers should not fear the legal consequences of responding to attacks by passagers; and that men in general should not fear the legal consequences of responding to attacks by women - that we urge you to reinstate mr. Artis Hughes following the investigation on the incident, and hope that future policies will safeguard him and other bus drivers from legal assault whenever they respond to a passager's physical assault.

Two videos of this incident are worth reviewing if you have not done so already:

http://youtu.be/OmqUlXQCAz8
(close-up in which conversation is audible)

http://youtu.be/HOHgL_cPJJA
(full video that includes the prolonged argument leading to the assault; the video clearly shows that ms. Lane struck first)

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    • RONALD WRIGHT PONTIAC, MI
      • 9 months ago

      MY PARENTS RAISED FIVE (5) MALES AND TWO (2) FEMALES. We never observed

      our father hit our mother nor has our mother or anyone else in life ever

      told or complained that our father ever put his hands on our mother less

      it was in a loving, caring and non-violent manner.

      I did however witness my mother of 5'2" weighing in at approximately 120

      Ibs attempt to attack my father of 6'3", 245 Ibs. Our father simply put

      his long and big arms around our petite mother to disarm her flalling

      arms in an effort to protect himself from being scratched, wounded or

      hurt in any way.

      It is a fact that a woman is capable of seriously hurting a man, however

      a man should never attack a woman behind verbal abuse. Men were designed

      and created by GOD to defend and protect women, and especially "his

      woman". When woman cross the line by spitting or hitting a man, the man

      should retalliate as though the offending female is his little brother.

      Don't pull out the big guns and half kill her. Do not retaliate in a

      physical manner if you don't find it necessary. If you find it necessary

      hold back enough to simply send her a strong message not to cross that

      line again. Some women will absolutely prompt a man to defend himself.

      Most women, thank GOD, and I would guestimate a very high percentage,

      have more brains than this 25 year old woman to not cross that line.

      However, Mr. Bus Driver could have restrained himself by stopping the

      bus, calling his employer and explaining to them what had just occured,

      and then calling 911 and waiting for the police to arrive. I'm sure they

      would have removed the woman from the bus.

      Lastly, I don't thing this bus driver with over 20 years seniorty should

      lose his job. He did however act in self defense. For these reasons I

      do sign this petition in a sincere effort to help Mr. Artis Hughes.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ray Washington CINCINNATI, OH
      • 10 months ago

      Bus Drivers are Human Beings first. No one should have to endure that type of abuse from anyone!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Christopher Mankey SAINT PAUL, MN
      • 10 months ago

      I hope this Bus driving piece of sh-t loses his job. I would love to punch him in his balls!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Andrew Schelb CLEVELAND, OH
      • 10 months ago

      Its sexist that a female assaulted a man and the director who fired him just so happens to be female

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jimmy Balazy PARMA, OH
      • 11 months ago

      She hit him first and she deserved it.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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