Roxbury bus crash: Alleged attackers say T driver started it

Michael Baptista listens to charges at his arraignment Thursday.

Family and friends of one of the men accused of assaulting a T bus driver claim the driver of the Route 15 bus threw the first punch and tried to run down the teens.  

Speaking before the arraignment of her brother, Felix Garcia, 18, of Roxbury, Christine Gonzalez said the T should have had a camera on the bus.

“I’m angry because everybody’s taking the side of the MBTA bus driver,” Gonzalez said. “Felix Garcia is innocent.”

Garcia and Michael Baptista, 19, of Roxbury, answered to charges Thursday of assault on a public employee and interfering with a bus operator.

Garcia was held without bail due to a probation violation on other larceny and assault charges.
Baptista, whom attorneys said has no record, was released on personal recognizance.

Limping down the stairs of the Roxbury courthouse after the hearing, Baptista said he wasn’t a criminal.

“There’s more to the story than they’re saying.”

Outside the courthouse, friends of the suspects said the driver purposely tried to trap the teens by moving the bus forward and pinning their legs.

Prosecutors said that the teens smashed the driver’s head into the side window, knocking him unconscious. When the driver awoke, the bus had crashed into the Dudley Street building, and he radioed for help.

Tracking trouble

As a condition of Garcia’s probation, he was required to wear a GPS monitoring device that he was somehow able to remove.

At the time of the crash, authorities determined that someone else was walking it around for him, to show movement.


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