Saturday, October 13, 2012

Analysis of Bus Driver Punching Woman

How often to we get both a video AND a written statement of the same event?  This is a terrific example for Statement Analysis.  

1.  Watch the video for yourself.  It is found here
2.  Analyze the driver's statement.  It is his words only. 
3.  Post your analysis and commentary of any thing you view as discrepancy.  Let his statement guide you and see how it correlates to the video. 

**When doing your analysis:

a. How many lines are dedicated to what happened before the incident?
b.  How many lines are dedicated to the incident?
c.  How many lines are dedicated to what happened after the incident?

d.  Now, decide what percentage of lines is dedicated to each aspect (before, during, and after).  

Please note that 25% introduction, 50% incident, and 25% post incident are often found in truthful statements of incident based events. 

Colorful Linguistics 

OCTOBER 12--The Cleveland bus driver who delivered an uppercut to an unruly female passenger told cops that he struck the woman after she grabbed his throat and spit in his face as he was driving, according to police reports.
Artis Hughes, 59, was interviewed by officers shortly after the September 18 confrontation with Shi'dea Lane, 25, on a Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bus.
Video of the fight (see below) went viral online this week, prompting RTA officials to suspend Hughes, a 22-year veteran, and characterize his behavior as "absolutely unacceptable."
When cops responded to the stopped bus around 4 PM, Hughes and three passengers described Lane (pictured at right) as the incident's aggressor. Hughes told cops that Lane initially boarded the bus without paying, claiming, "I left my bookbag."
Hughes said that after Lane, a restaurant employee, eventually paid her fare, she told him, "You a Bitch and Your Momma's a Bitch Too!" She also reportedly stated, "Keep talking about me and I will spit on you!"
In a written statement, Hughes recalled that Lane "grabbed me in the throat and spit on me in the face." In response, the driver said he stopped the bus, "and I protected myself." The Hughes statement does not reveal that he hit Lane squarely in the jaw with a bolo punch that knocked her to the ground.
One witness told cops that a "drunk" Lane "got on the bus fliping out" and "started talking crazy" to Hughes. After spitting on Hughes, the witness wrote in a statement, the driver "did what he had to do."
A second witness wrote that Lane was "loud and obnoxious" from the start, and spit on Hughes and "started hitting him." The witness added, "That's when he hit her back." A third witness described Lane as "drunk" and reported that "she hit him and he jumped out of his seat and started fighting her."
When first interviewed by cops, Hughes said he was willing to prosecute Lane. But a week after the incident, he called a police detective to report that he "did not wish to pursue prosecution of the female suspect." He subsequently signed a "Refuse to Prosecute Form."
Lane was not arrested at the scene. In fact, following the confrontation, she was transported to the restaurant where she works by police officers.
According to her Facebook page, Lane, the mother of a four-year-old girl, loves "2 go to church," and considers herself "a people person." In a May posting, Lane wrote that she was trying to get “famous and rich,” and referred to “being shot and stabbed in ma face,” which “prolly messed me up from tryin to model.”
Seven years ago, Lane was shot four times during a robbery at the home of a male friend. During the bus fight, Lane’s injuries from the stabbing prompted Hughes to comment, “Look like somebody done sliced your face up.” (6 pages)


Anonymous said...

The scribble between "I" and "protected" is telling. He wrote something down and then decided he shouldn't have wrote it down. I'm sure "protected" is softer than what he had initially wrote.

Gigi said...

He might show sensitivity and might not be telling the entire truth, but if she was aggressive toward him in the manner being described, I have no problem at all with him laying her out.

Anonymous said...

She used the 'N' word..does that make her assault a hate crime? It should.

Anonymous said...

This statement clearly has holes in it with regards to the driving of the bus. "took her to the next stop". So at that moment the bus was not driving. An argument starts. Then there is no mention of the bus starting to drive again. But in the statement he mentions: "as I was driving she grabbed me in the throat".

Statement Analysis Blog said...

This highlights our societal hypocrisy. It should be a hate crime. The driver is not pressing charges.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I was curious as to the "egalitarian" view of men and women being identical.

Thank you for your replies. His "editing" is, to say the very least, interesting!

Theresa said...

The driver SHOULD press charges. He may not have been 100% truthful in his written statement, but clearly, she did assault him first. To every action there is a reaction...and being female doesn't exempt her from the consequences of her actions. She put her hands on him and the reaction was swift! Maybe she will think twice about hitting people. I feel like some women think that they can act the way this one did, and that they won't be hit back when they put their hands on someone. If you put your hands on someone, you get what's coming to you, no matter the gender!

Anon, you can see that the bus is moving by the way the guy in the orange vest suddenly sits down...I think that after she hit the driver, the driver promptly stopped the bus and "protected" himself. That change in momentum caused him to kind of loose his footing. LOL at protecting himself, because she was no longer attacking him, though who knows what she would have done next.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like this driver had every right to 'stand his ground' and knock the hell outta this passenger, just, maybe not legally. Did the driver have any legal standing? My guess is NOT.

Further, it sounds like he/she took advisement from a counselor at law and decided not to proceed any further with pressing charges against the passenger, else he/she could wind up in an even worse altercation which could result in LOSING the case and owing damages to the passenger. Wise decision.

Now, if the passenger should sue the driver or the city, that's another whole different matter. In that case, 'may be best man win'! (P.S., it would be the driver).

Anonymous said...

Theresa, it sounds like that should be the case, but this is not necessarily the law. I'm speaking of Ohio in particular. This happened in Cleveland. If a woman hits a man, he does not have the right to hit her back. You would think so. NOT TRUE!

I know someone whose new wife, was only married to her for three weeks, and during that period she violently attacked him FOUR TIMES, kicking, biting, hitting, clawing his face with her fingernails. I mean viciously.

On the fourth occasion he kept warning her to stop it that he was going to beat the hell out of her if she didn't. Well, she didn't. Mind you, he was twice her size and could have killed her with one good hard punch had he wanted too.

He threw/knocked her off him HARD and during that good swift "get the hell offa me" he gave her a black eye and a big black bruise on her upper arm. SHE called 911 and HE was charged with domestic violence. He could have proved how she had already attacked and physically abused him on three previous occasions and had a witness as to how SHE first attacked him that night. Never mind all that. HE hit/abused her and that's all that mattered in Ohio law. He was unable to claim self-defense. Is this right? Hell no it's not!

Today he has a misdomeanor domestic violence charge against him under Ohio Law that will be on his record forever. What did she get? A woman judge who totally sided with her!

Anonymous said...

I meant to say "may THE best man win." Sorry.

Skeptical said...

"Lane was not arrested at the scene. In fact, following the confrontation, she was transported to the restaurant where she works by police officers."

Excuse me! Not even a breathalizer test or a charge of drunk and disorderly on public transportation, just the equivalent of a cab drive to her employment. I think there should be an investigation by the Cleveland police department of their personnel. It sounds as if some retraining might be in order.

Anonymous said...

sounds like she's a psycho bitch and deserved it!

CanadianGirl said...

Well, the bus driver wasn't lying when he said he "protected" himself. However, he did leave out a description of HOW he protected himself.
She deserved to be hit, but as a bus driver it was not something he should have done himself; that's a terrible way to ruin a 22 year career. He should have called a supervisor and they would have come and removed her (at least that's what bus drivers in my city have to do).

Anonymous said...

The woman is wrong on many levels. However, instead of wisely decelerating the conflict, the driver admits he told passengers she was holding them up and says he'll bring his daughter or granddaughter up there to whup her... and makes comments about her face. Riders laugh. He is escalating the altercation and playing to an audience. She continues to react verbally (using a slur) and physically, but it is hard for me, at least, to see exactly what she did do to him. He says "You're going to jail now" as if in triumph. He gets up and hits her, throwing her head backward. Someone speaks up to say that is a female to stop the violence. Interestingly, he answers "I don't care" and tells her if "she wants to act like a man, she will be treated like a man." She hit at or on him again and he laid hands on her again. Shameful on both sides.

In the report, he sets up the situation and tells in one sentence what she did to him in grabbing his throat and spitting on him. He says that she "threatened" and "attacked" him and he "protected" himself. He wants us to concentrate on how he was threatened and how he walked away from the situation as if he took the high road and downplayed his involvement. However, there is enough guilt to go around to cover both of them liberally.

Lis said...

I haven't watched the video or analyzed the statement yet but I just had to say, the woman in that picture looks so strongly to be an instigator, it will be hard for me to analyze objectively.

Jazzie said...

Spitting in someone's face is a simple assault in most states. Spitting in a police officer's face can lead to felony assault. I will not go into the realm of the accuser spitter having a disease (i.e. Hep C, HIV, AIDs.) therein lies another level of assault.

Spitting in someone's face is a blatant expression of disrespect. I read both bus driver Hughes' statement, and witnesses' statements and watched video. Ms. Lane initiated the attack with B & N words, spitting and hitting. Both involved in this incident are Black (African American).

I was surprised even after an "uppercut", Ms. Lane bounced back at him fighting! After that, Hughes threw her off the bus and Ms Lane came back on it fighting! WTH?!!

Police report states that they gave Hughes a "Victim's Rights Handbook". They didn't distribute that to Ms. Lane. Gave her a ride to her employment.

I saw the edited written statement of Hughes. I also read the witnesses' statements. I watched the video. Excessive force to protect yourself? Guy vs. Woman. Bus driver vs. aggressive woman passenger who may be drunk/on drugs/unstable.

I remember when I was in 5th grade and J. N. turned around and asked me "What are you looking at?" I said "Nothing" (I was probably admiring her long blond hair) when she decided to start a fight by yanking my hair out of its roots (LOL Girl FIGHT!). In order to stop the pain I proceeded to start swinging my fists willy nilly. One of my blows blindly hits her Adam's apple and she choked back and stopped pulling my hair. I wasn't hauled into the principal's office.

He could have pressed charges. He didn't. He lost his job because of his response to an assault by a passenger.

Applying your principle of SA, I had trouble determining where does Intro end and Incident begin within Hughes' statement? How can you separate the actual Incident (Hitting?) from the precedent aggressor's actions? What is in fact Post Incident? This was difficult for me.

Jazzie said...

When taking Public Transit Bus I always sit close to the Driver because from experience they will watch out for you. Even in foreign countries!

CanadianGirl said...

When I watched the video I was surprised that she bounced back so quickly as well!! This to me means that she may be used to physical fights. That was a pretty good punch. A punch that would have flattened the average woman.
I hope her employer fires her for her behaviour.

Jazzie, why did that girl in fifth grade have an Adam's apple? I would have been staring at that instead of her hair!!

BostonLady said...

There is some time missing in his statement. He wrote he stopped the bus, protected himself, got off the bus and called traffic. His next sentence was that while on the phone with traffic, she attacked him again so he got off the bus and waited for police. When did he get back on the bus after he first stepped off the bus? That piece is missing.

Anonymous said...

His statement, the witnesses, support her as the aggressor. Law Enforcement has the technology to fine-tune the video. Let the facts speak for themselves on that vid. Her rapid come-back from the uppercut insinuates to me that she very well may have been on PCP. That the driver was fired is inexcusable; suspended while the investigation is on-going, yes. AND those cops should be disciplined---NO drug/etol testing AFTER wits. stated she was "drunk." and they take her to work!!!!!

Jazzie said...

CanadaGirl: She was big and tall and I usually refer to her as the "Nordic Bully" when telling the story. LOL. I think everyone's got a adam's apple (larynx). I assumed I hit it because she gasped for breath and her eyes went wide. Whatever I hit did the trick, because she stopped pulling my hair. I'm just a Scaredy Cat who got lucky with a blind jab!

Anonymous said...

IMO, the driver should file charges against his employer to get his job back. It is not right that he was dismissed for defending himself, which began verbally from the moment the passenger got on the bus with her insulting and derogatory comments to the driver. This driver has enough credible witneses that will attest that she was noticably either drunk or high on something from the moment she got on the bus and when she attacked him and even before she accosted him.

He should also look into suing the city if he can find a loophole law that will permit it, for not booking and testing her for substance abuse; instead they helped to facilitate allowing a dangerous and violent person back on the streets by taking no action against her.

She will offend again, and next time more violently. Meanwhile, he has lost his job and 22-year career, his income, benefits and retirement because of her and the police dept failing to take action in his behalf. Now, he will have a very hard time getting another job. He deserves to get it back.

As to the drivers' scant report leaving out some details, this is not unusal at all. Many reports of these altercations use limited wording to describe the incident, including those written by police officers. They tend to leave out the 'she saids, and I said, and she did, and I thought, and then...' and so on. You would think they would give more detail but they generally don't. I guess they expect it all to come clean on wash day, that being in court, with the evidence presented and the judge deciding who did what. Too bad, this won't be the case in this insane altercation created by a strung out madwoman.

Lis said...

"While leaving Van Aken passenger gets on the bus acting strange said she left her bookbag
I ask her what you gone do she said go on so I took her to the next stop
She still didn't wont to pay so I told the passenger she holdin you all up so she said so what
An argument started, she was threatining me and calling me b's and H's and she said she would spit on me, thats when I told her I would hurt her
She continued to threatin me and as I was driving she grabbed me in the throat and spit on me in the face
I stopped (-) the bus and I (--) protected myself and got off the bus
called traffic and waited on police
while on the phone with traffic she attacted me again so I got off the bus and waited on the police"

I could see in the video that the woman was a troublemaker and was getting under the driver's skin, but he was also egging her on.

I see in the statement 55 words leading up to the incident, 62 words to describe the whole incident, and 21 words describing post-incident, if I have divided it up correctly. If I did the math right (and it wouldn't be surprising if I didn't, lol!), that would be approximately 40% pre-incident, 45% on the incident, and 15% post-incident.

The introductory sentence is missing pronouns and article, there are missing pronouns in the last 2 sentences as well.

"An argument started" is passive, hides the identity of the one who started the argument

"That's when" "I told her I would hurt her" - he told her other things before that. "Told" is strong. Telling her he would hurt her- he justifies himself because he gave her warning.

He leaves out the detail about punching her.

My first thought is that these two deserve each other, but as far as the reliability of the bus driver's statement, I see that he is concealing information as to who started this argument and as to how he responded to it, so I would say it is not overall an honest statement.

Lis said...

Another thought as I look at it again, I count 5 "so"s and the bulk of the statement takes place between:
"so I took her to the next stop"
"so I got off the bus and waited on the police"

Lis said...

The point when he told the woman he would hurt her, would have been the wise time to stop and put her off the bus, rather than threatening back in response to her threats and allowing the confrontation to continue to escalate.

Lis said...

And, just to add one last thing, since my brain is working in short spurts today, lol, I am not sure why the bus driver took the passenger to the next stop after she told him she could not pay because she forgot her 'bookbag' (I find the term 'bookbag' in relation to this woman to be oddly incongruous- she doesn't strike me as the studious reading type). But anyway, if she didn't have money then, how would she have it at the next stop?

Nicole said...

In my experience when editing a police statement, the writer is to only put 1 line through the statement they wish to erase. This would be a good example of why.