Phoenix bus driver fights 15-year-old girl, caught on tape

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Driver arrested, teen speaks
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - A Phoenix city bus driver is accused of attacking a 15-year-old girl.

The girl was not riding the bus. She was walking when police say the bus driver nearly hit her. He did not, but now he is charged with aggravated assault for something else.

Surveillance video shows the bus driver, Irving Ramos, parking in front of a gas station. Moments later you see Thelma Taylor and her two friends walk by unaware the bus driver is allegedly planning an attack.

The girls walk into the store and the driver follows behind. The girls are buying food when the bus driver walks in, words are exchanged and the driver attacks.

Essie Strong, the girl's mother, tells 3TV, "I'm hurt, I'm confused, I'm not understanding why a grown man would attack my 15-year-old daughter. I don't understand."

She says it started when the driver nearly hit her daughter walking through a crosswalk. "My daughter threw her hands up and said, 'Man you almost hit us,' and they left it alone because the bus driverthey seen him kept going but they didn't know he came and pulled in the store and parked and was waiting on them."

The video shows the bus driver approaching the teen who looks confused because Taylor tells 3TV she had no idea who he was.

Taylor explains, "He comes up and says, 'You talk all that stuff, but you can't back it up' and I said, 'What are you talking about and I look away and I look back, it was a big 'old slap, and all I remember was just fight for your safety."

Footage shows the bus driver knock the teen in the face before kicking her and then kicking her again.

Sonny Mirchandani is the clerk who broke it up. He says, "That is probably one of the weirder things that has happened here."

Surveillance shows Ramos walks in and seconds later the fight begins. The teen's mother says, "He's kicking her, literally, kicking my daughterfighting her with his fists."

If the clerk had not stepped in to help her mother says the bus driver probably would have killed her. As it is Taylor bruised her ribs and chipped her teeth. Worst of all, the teen says she is too embarrassed to show her face.

3TV tried to talk to Ramos but he did not answer. Surveillance shows him walking away after the attack then driving to back to the bus station where police arrested him.

Taylor's mother says, "All I want right now, I want justice done for what that man did to my baby."

The City of Phoenix says the driver was not a city employee. He is a contracted employee for another company. That company tells 3TV he has been suspended until the investigation is over.