Kent teen arrested in attack of Metro bus driver

King County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 17-year-old Kent teen for investigation of malicious mischief in connection with an attack of a Metro bus driver just after midnight Saturday in Tukwila.

Deputies also arrested two other male teens: a 15-year-old from Renton for investigation of assault and a 16-year-old from Tukwila for investigation of malicious mischief, according to a Sheriff's Office media release. The three boys were booked Saturday into the Youth Center in Seattle.

They were scheduled for detention review the afternoon of Jan. 25 in King County Juvenile Court in Seattle, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Web site.

The 56-year-old bus driver was hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton for treatment of her injuries.

In a statement released Monday, Bob Ferguson, chairman of the King County Council, called the attack on the bus driver "vicious."

“As a regular bus commuter, I understand that safety aboard Metro buses is paramount." Ferguson said. "The county will investigate what additional precautions can be taken to ensure the well-being of drivers and riders alike."

The incident occurred just after midnight Saturday morning. The Route 124 bus stopped in Tukwila at South 144th Street and International Boulevard to let off passengers. Seven or eight youths gathered at the back door but only two got off before the doors closed. At least some of the group went to the front of the bus and the driver was punched in the head several times, knocking her unconscious, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile, two boys kicked and hit the rear door of the bus, breaking glass and bending the door frame. All of them ran off.

A Tukwila K-9 dog tracked the group to a house in the 13700 block of 45th Avenue South. Eight people were detained. Eventually, witnesses from the bus identified the three people booked into the Youth Center who were reportedly directly involved in the altercation, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A passenger called 911 from the bus after the assault. As the Sheriff's Office and Tukwila Police headed for the bus, two police cars collided, one from each agency. The collision occurred at South 148th Street and International Boulevard.

The Tukwila officer was treated at the scene. The sheriff's deputy, assigned to the City of SeaTac Police, was taken to Valley Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Ferguson appreciated the work by police to track down the individuals allegedly involved in the incident.

“Bus drivers and their passengers are also grateful for the quick action of law enforcement in arresting the individuals (reportedly) responsible for the attack," Ferguson said. "No one should have to fear violence for simply doing their job."

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