Man gets 90 days for Metro Transit bus driver attack

“The images are absolutely disturbing.”

Edgar Linares
January 08, 2019 - 6:02 pm

Courtesy of Hennepin County


The man convicted of assaulting a Metro Transit bus driver will spend 90 days in the workhouse and undergo anger management classes.  Sterling Smith will also have three years of supervised probation.

A passenger on the bus on April 10, 2018 captured the attack on a mobile phone and shared it on social media sparking outrage.

“The images are absolutely disturbing,” said Howie Padilla, Metro Transit spokesperson. 

According to the criminal complaint shortly before the assault, three women boarded the bus and one of the women started swearing. The driver asked her to stop and one of them became combative. That’s when authorities were called and the bus was stopped in the area of 15th Avenue and Emerson Avenue North in Minneapolis. 

One of the women on the bus called Smith, her boyfriend. After the driver escorted his girlfriend off, Smith began attacking the driver.

Smith told investigators the driver used a racial slur, but investigators said no statement was heard on the audio recording from driver. Smith later told investigators, “I took it the wrong way possibly.”

The complaint said the attack left the driver bloody with an abrasion to his right eyelid and several scrapes on his forehead. He also said the attack left him with double-vision. 

Now, nearly two-thirds of Metro Transit's fleet will be equipped with a plexiglass barrier to protect drivers from such attacks.