CLEVELAND -- Another RTA bus driver was reportedly beaten by an angry passenger Thursday afternoon.
The driver is 59-year-old Greg Vranekovic. He told Channel 3 the attack came after he asked a passenger to pay his fare. The passenger became angry.
"He said maybe you'll think twice about how you treat people... I was just doing my job and the kid came out of no where and started punching me," said Vranekovic.
Vranekovic said he was worried that he'd lose his job if he defended himself.
William T. Nix, Sr., president of Local 268 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents drivers, called WKYC to say he was at the emergency room of University Hospitals with a bus driver who had been beaten.
The attacked happened on the No. 5 bus at E. 114th Street and Union Avenue about 4 p.m. He told WKYC the passenger came from the back door of the bus and beat the driver.
RTA spokeswoman tells WKYC that the passenger was leaving the bus and did not pay. The driver said to the passenger that they must pay.
The passenger became angry and then punched the driver and ran off the bus. Police are still trying to find the passenger.
Friday afternoon, RTA issued an addition to its original statement.
RTA said "...the person who punched the operator tried to enter through the back door of the bus without paying, the operator asked him to pay, he refused, and after entering the coach through the front door and riding for several blocks without following the rules of paying, he then punched the operator and ran away."
"Police are searching for him from his description by the operator and other witnesses on the bus. The operator was treated and released from University Hospitals last night."
The incident occurs 3 days after another RTA driver, Artis Hughes, was fired for a Sept. 18 incident in which he punched an unruly passenger who attacked him.
Nix tells Channel 3 that he'd like the RTA to re-train its drivers and give them the tools they need to deal with angry passengers before things get physical.
The current guideline, he says, doesn't do enough. "RTA is saying to stop the bus and wait for traffic. Well, you'll get the hell beat out of you by then," Nix said.