Artis Hughes, 59, has been identified as the Cleveland bus driver who got into an altercation with 25-year-old Shi’dea Lane.
According to police reports, Artis claims he was only protecting himself, as he stated that the unruly passenger grabbed him by the throat and spit in his face.
As reported by The Smoking Gun:
When cops responded to the stopped bus around 4 PM, Hughes and three passengers described Lane 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 flipping 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.”
Everything that happened Hughes didn’t even bother to prosecute Lane, even after she assaulted him. To read the police report, click over to the Smoking Gun.