KENSINGTON. Imagine riding a bus as the driver gets into an altercation with someone outside the bus, when almost instantly about 50 people swarm the bus, ripping at the doors and screaming death threats at the driver and passengers.
That’s the crazy scene that erupted May 15 in Kensington on the Route 54 — and the incident was caught on surveillance.
Operator DeShaun Dash said he was driving as a funeral service ended when a man wearing a Phillies jersey punched the bus. Dash stopped the bus and the man came to his window — out of the camera’s view — and allegedly began punching him, starting the melee, Dash said.
“He was basically trying to pull me out the window and I had no leverage ‘cause I’m sitting in the seat,” recalled Dash, 28, an operator for more than five years. “His friends and family started running. ...They were saying that they were going to kill me and the passengers on the bus.”
After a few hectic minutes, Dash was able to drive off and flag down police on Kensington Avenue. He suffered bruises and lacerations to his head and neck. He has been suspended without pay pending an investigation, according to SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. “Initial reports from witnesses indicate that he had been attacked prior to him defending himself,” Williams said.
Dash insisted he does not know why the man punched the bus or allegedly attacked him. “I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “I’m just thankful that I made it out.”