CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland RTA bus driver was suspended after being caught on video assaulting a passenger while on duty.
The video, first posted on WorldStarHipHop.com and then elsewhere on the web, depicts a male bus driver striking an unruly female passenger with an uppercut punch.
The fight continues until the driver finally steps off the bus.
RTA officials have seen the video and are investigating.
Early Friday afternoon, RTA identified the driver as Artis Hughes. He has been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of theinvestigation. He and his union president have been notified, so RTA released his name.
RTA says Transit Police were called to the scene on Sept. 18 and completed an incident report.
Hughes stated that he was assaulted by a customer, Shidea N. Lane, 25. Transit Police and Beachwood Police were both called to the scene.
After a follow-up interview, Hughes refused to press charges against Shidea Lane. There are several witnesses to the incident.
Lane did not file a report or charges against Artis Hughes at the scene.
Here is the complete original statement from RTA:
RTA saw the video posted on YouTube of the operator incident on October 11. Through the investigation, we believe the incident occurred on Sept. 18. Upon identifying the driver, he was immediately suspended and removed from duty. His behavior is absolutely unacceptable. RTA apologizes to our customers for this incident. A full investigation continues.
This story has ignited a whirlwind of chatter on social media with #getoffmybus and #uppercut gaining popularity on Twitter.