Former RTA driver sentenced for punching passenger

6:37 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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  • SHAKER HEIGHTS -- A former RTA bus driver who punched a passenger in the face aboard a bus in Beachwood last year will be spending some time in jail.

    Artis Hughes was sentenced Tuesday morning to 90 days behind bars -- 87 of which were suspended -- with a $1,000 fine and active probation for 12 months.

    Hughes, who previously pled no contest to charges tied to the Sept. 18 scuffle, must also complete an anger management program.

    He apologized in court to the victim and the judge as well as his family and former employer, RTA.

    The incident was captured on cell phone video and shows Shidea Lane arguing with Hughes before he delivers an uppercut punch to her face.

    In court, a portion of the video was played at Hughes' sentencing.

    After the video surfaced, Hughes was fired by RTA.  The case is currently in arbitration.

    In determining the sentence, Shaker Heights Municipal Judge K.J. Montgomery commented on the lack of manners and civility among all of the passengers on the bus, not just the parties involved.  The judge pointed out that none of the passengers did anything to de-escalate the situation and instead laughed or grabbed their cell phones to record the incident on video instead.  "I will say watching these videos is a real commentary on humanitarianism in the United States," said Judge Montgomery.  "It's pitiful."

    Shidea Lane was found guilty of disorderly conduct last month for her role in the fight. She will be sentenced at a later date.


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