Kent teen pleads not guilty in Metro bus attack

A 17-year-old Kent teenager pleaded not guilty Jan. 28 to first-degree malicious mischief in connection with an attack of a Metro bus driver Jan. 23 in Tukwila.

The boy entered the plea at his arraignment at Juvenile Court in Seattle, according to a King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office media release. His charge stems from reportedly breaking windows on the back door of the bus, and damaging the door frame.

A 16-year-old Tukwila boy also pleaded not guilty to first-degree malicious mischief for damaging the bus, along with the Kent teen.

In addition, a 14-year-old Renton boy pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault for attacking the 56-year-old woman driver. The driver was beaten unconscious during the assault and was hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton for treatment of her injuries. She has since been released.

The incident occurred just after midnight Jan. 23 at a bus stop at South 144th Street and International Boulevard.

Seven or eight youths were gathered at the back door off the bus, but only two exited before the doors closed. At least some of the group went to the front of the bus, reportedly confronting the driver. She was punched in the head several times, knocking her unconscious, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

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

Tukwila Police tracked the boys down later that day at a Tukwila house.

The Renton teen faces a sentence range of 15 to 36 weeks in detention, but prosecutors will recommend a sentence of more than a year.

The Kent and Tukwila teen each face up to 30 days in detention.

The Renton and Kent boys remained in custody Friday at the Youth Center in Seattle. The Tukwila boy was released on electronic home monitoring.

All three are scheduled to return to court at dates to be determined in February. A trial date could be set then or attorneys from either side could ask for more time to prepare the cases.

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