Council members ride TARC, told to come back at midnight - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Council members ride TARC, told to come back at midnight

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David Tandy (left) David Tandy (left)
David James David James
Attica Scott Attica Scott
Barbara Shanklin Barbara Shanklin
Ann Newton Ann Newton

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Metro Council members got an earful from people as they rode a TARC bus Tuesday afternoon seeking input on safety concerns after a deadly stabbing.

Democratic council members David Tandy, Attica Scott, Barbara Shanklin and David James took about a 20-minute ride along Broadway from Shawnee Park to 6th Street.

Riders suggested putting more police officers on buses and providing teenagers with jobs so they wouldn't cause trouble. Some cautioned the council members they should come back at night to see the problems for themselves.

"We've heard we really need to come back at midnight," Shanklin said. "We're willing to come back and see what's going on."

James vowed to come back at night and said the council's other 22 members should join him.

There has been a renewed focus on safety aboard TARC buses after 14-year-old Me'Quale Offutt was stabbed in the heart during a fight March 16 on a bus. Offutt died at the hospital two days later.

Last week, a grand jury declined to indict Anthony Allen, 44, saying that he stabbed Offutt in self defense. Surveillance video from the bus shows a group of teens, including Offutt, arguing with Allen and then attacking him.

"I think it's still safe to ride the bus -- that could've happened anywhere," Ann Newton said as she rode the bus Tuesday. Newton drove a TARC bus for 32 years.

Elexus Percell, 17, said she feels safer on the Number 23 bus she rides to and from work when police officers are aboard.

"There isn't chaos, it feels safe," Percell said. "I wouldn't want my little brothers or sisters to ride the bus."

Others said Metro Council should focus on providing teenagers jobs. Young people are responsible for most of the problems on the bus, they said.

"Every now and then, something gets out of hand, and it's usually young people," bus rider Deborah Frazier said. "I just think they don't have enough to do, so I think jobs will help that. Plus, who doesn't feel good with money in their hand?"

But keeping teenagers off the bus isn't the answer, she said.

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