Suspect arrested in attack on bus driver

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Robert Nathaniel White, 27 By Mike Gertzman Robert Nathaniel White, 27 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Robert Nathaniel White, 27 By Mike Gertzman Robert Nathaniel White, 27 By Mike Gertzman
Robert Nathaniel White, 27 By Mike Gertzman Robert Nathaniel White, 27 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- Police have arrested a man who they say attacked a Valley Metro bus driver earlier this month.

The suspect is 27-year-old Robert Nathaniel White, according to Steve Berry with the Mesa Police Dept.

White was arrested on Monday. He's facing one count of aggravated assault.

The violent incident on the morning of Sept. 8 was caught on surveillance video.

That was the day a monsoon storm dropped record rainfall that caused extensive flooding in Mesa and other parts of the Valley.

Bus driver David B. Housel, 60, said he parked the bus at the flooded Light Rail station at Main St. and Sycamore at approximately 6:15 a.m.

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.

White was apparently upset with the bus driver for not moving the bus to a dry location before he exited. He told police that he had to work and did not want to get wet from the rain while removing his bike from the rack on the front of the bus.

According to court documents, he punched the driver in the head and face more than 20 times. He told police he felt the driver was not being respectful. He felt the driver could have moved the bus because another bus was parked around the corner where the street did not have puddles.

Police responded and Housel ended up in the hospital with a concussion, a cut over his right eye, a cut over his left ear and blurred vision.

Family members of the suspect recognized White from the surveillance video and encouraged him to turn himself in to police.

White contacted the Phoenix Police Department through his brother and turned himself in. His bond was set at $25,000.

Nearly three weeks later, Housel said his face is still swollen but he is healing. He has worked for Valley Metro for eight years and has not been able to return to full duty.

He can't understand why the passenger 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."

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