Family of teen has questions about violent bus ride video - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Family of teen has questions about violent bus ride video

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Surveillance video released Wednesday showed the March 16 incident on board a TARC bus. Surveillance video released Wednesday showed the March 16 incident on board a TARC bus.
Anthony Allen Anthony Allen
Me'Quale Offutt Me'Quale Offutt

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - While surveillance video released Wednesday that showed an incident on board a TARC bus is certainly giving the public a better idea of what happened during the violent bus ride of March 16 in Louisville, there are still many questions. Some of those questions are coming from the family of the young man who died as a result of the confrontation, 14-year-old Me'Quale Offutt.

Everyday, TARC drivers pick up hundreds of people waiting at the bus stop. Most of those people are just trying to get to work or around town. But some riders bring trouble and what is a driver to do?

"I think we all keep it in the back of our minds because you never know when it's going to happen," said TARC Drivers local 1447 Transit Representative Jonathan Dooley.

Dooley said TARC drivers are worried about violence they said happens too often.

Investigators maintain Offutt and the group of teens he was with forced rider Anthony Allen to use self defense during the March 16 bus ride.

Video from on board the TARC shows Allen being picked up and complaining about other buses passing him by to the driver.

Offutt and friends get on the bus and eventually Allen and the teens exchange words. Allen then threatens to "whoop everybody" as he inches closer toward the teens. After some back and forth, things calm down and Allen clearly asks the driver to get off the bus, twice.

"Open the door please," Allen said then repeated to the driver, "open the door please."

Offutt's mother Aesha Duncan said after seeing news clips of the ride, she doesn't understand why the driver ignored Allen's request.

"Why wouldn't she just let him off the bus, what are you holding this man on the bus for?" she asked. "He (Allen) was already, you know causing problems, so just let him off the bus," Duncan continued, "He's asking to get off and the kids are asking her to let him off and she's not opening the door!"

As Duncan mentioned, the teens are heard asking the driver to let Allen off too. But, the driver doesn't. That's when Allen gets vocal again.

Less than two minutes after Allen asked to be let off the bus, the argument turned physical with the first punch thrown by a girl. Police said Allen then stabbed the girl and Offutt in self defense as the driver opened the door.

Dooley said he didn't see the video, but he said the protocol when someone wants to get off the bus is if, "Somebody wants to get off, then you open the door."

We asked what the protocol was when the bus was moving. Dooley answered, "You stop the bus and you let them off."

Dooley said the driver may have been waiting for the next bus stop.

It's entire situation is hard for Offutt's mother to understand, but she's making a request that everyone stop the violence.

"It's not going to bring any justice for Me'Quale, so I just want all the kids to just stay positive and out of the streets and not to get in trouble," she said.

Dooley said the union is in talks with management about safety improvements. They said in the past when drivers have called for back up, help has not been fast enough.

The driver in question is a rookie, only being on the job about one year. We are told she's upset over the incident and hasn't gone back to driving.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

SIDEBAR: TARC, OFFUTT stories

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