Bus driver recounts attack by passenger

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- A bus driver who was attacked by a passenger is sharing his story hoping that the man who committed the brutal and senseless beating will be caught.

It happened on Monday, Sept. 8 at approximately 6:15 a.m. That was the day a monsoon storm dropped record rainfall that caused extensive flooding in Mesa and other parts of the Valley.

David B. Housel, 60, said he parked the bus at the flooded Light Rail station at Main St. and Sycamore.

That's when the trouble started.

"He started getting off and then he came back and started whining and complaining and hollering and screaming," said Housel.

The man was apparently upset because he was going to get wet while getting his bicycle off the carrier on the front of the bus.

He handed his backpack to a woman who was with him. Housel thought she was going to hold it so he could get his bicycle.

"And about that time he just turned around and just charged me. I didn't have any warnings," Housel said. "And he cold-cocked me about four good shots, never got my seat belt off and then it was just on after that. I kept trying to push him off me. Every time I reached to get my seat belt off to try to defend myself he would pound on me even more."

The attacker punched the driver more than 20 times.

Police responded and Housel ended up in the hospital with a concussion.

"They thought I was going to have a stroke or a heart attack because my blood pressure was just crazy." Housel said.

Nearly three weeks later, Housel said his face is still swollen but he is healing.

Meantime, he's left to wonder why the man attacked him.

"Afterward he was still going to have to get his feet wet. He was still going to have to pick his bike up. He was still going to have to walk in the rain. So no matter what happened he wasn't accomplishing anything."

The man and the woman who was with him took off right after the attack. 

The suspect left on a red beach cruiser bicycle.

Police describe him as 30-35 years old, 6-foot-1 and white. He was traveling with a woman between 25 and 30 years old. She had pink hair and glasses and was wearing medical scrubs.

Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Witness 480-948-6377 (480-WITNESS).