A Valley Metro bus driver was arrested on suspicion of attacking a passenger in a dispute over a fare card, Phoenix police said.
Todd Shields, 45, was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of assault, disorderly conduct and criminal damage and later released
He was arrested Friday after a 21-year-old passenger presented him with a reduced fare card intended for passengers 18 years old or younger, said Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson.
An argument broke out and Shields physically threw the man off the bus and assaulted him, Thompson said. The passenger's cell phone was broken during the attack.
The victim suffered minor injuries, police said.
Valerie of Michael of Veolia Transportation, which is contracted to provide bus service in Phoenix, issued the following statement Sunday:
"On Friday, June 14, 2013 a Veolia Transportation employee who is a bus driver was involved in an altercation with a passenger aboard his bus.
"This altercation was related to fare collection and resulted in the arrest of the bus driver.
"We are fully investigating this matter as we do any instance of possible misconduct. The driver is on investigative leave pending the completion and outcome of our formal investigation.
"Employees who violate our policies are subject to disciplinary action, which can, if warranted, include termination of employment."
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