Former MTA Bus Driver Charged in Mass Attack on Family

Lowell Melser, WBAL (Baltimore), October 9, 2014

A former Maryland Transit Administration bus driver is facing several charges after a family claimed she got several teens to beat them up after one of the victims got into an argument with her.

Former MTA bus driver Karen Murphy left district court in northwest Baltimore on Thursday after her first court appearance to answer to multiple charges of assault and conspiracy. Court documents said she told a group of juveniles to beat up a family of three that was riding on her bus.

“She actually let these children get off of this bus and beat me and my family for at least three minutes, then let them get back on, get weapons, get back off and back on again, and then took off with every one of them that did it,” victim Kristina Gibson told 11 News reporter Lowell Melser.

Gibson said the incident happened on June 6, when she and her boyfriend, Christopher Fisher, were picking up their son, 9-year-old Logan, from school and were riding the No. 22 bus to Hampden from Greenmount Avenue.

According to charging documents, police were able to review video from the bus, which included audio of the exchange. The video showed the bus beginning to get crowded and that Murphy told everyone to move to the back of the bus.

According to the video, Fisher told Murphy that the bus was too crowded to do so, and the two exchanged words, with Murphy saying, “If you would have gotten your (expletive) off you wouldn’t be having these problems. You better watch the way you’re talking to me. . . . ┬áCome up here and I’ll show you what I’ll do. You better get your ass way back there in the back.”

Eventually, Murphy pulled the bus over.

“She pulled the bus over, got out of her seat belt, stood up screaming in both of our faces, ‘Don’t tell me how to do my job. If you have a problem, come across this line and I’ll knock you the F out,'” Gibson said.

Court documents said at that point, some teen boys on the bus began yelling with Murphy for the family to get off the bus. The documents said Murphy kept one of the teens by her, and one of the teens could be heard on the video yelling “Call them up.” Gibson told police that she saw Murphy make a phone call.

Two bus stops later, Gibson said a large number of Mergenthaler Vo-Tech and Academy for College and Career Exploration students boarded the bus.

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Gibson said her family called a friend to meet them at their stop, 41st Street and Falls Road, because they believed there might be a fight brewing, but the call didn’t help. Police estimated that about 15-20 teens converged on the couple. Gibson said the teens beat them and pepper-sprayed them.

“As soon as the doors opened, they hit my boyfriend on the back of the head with something,” Gibson said.

“I was really scared,” 9-year-old Logan told 11 News. He said he tried to defend his mother but couldn’t. “I tried to get the girl that was beating her up off of her, and she turned around and pepper-sprayed me.”

Charging documents show Murphy watched the assault and yelled several times, “Yeah, that’s what you get.” After the teens were finished with the beating, they got back on the bus, and Murphy drove away, offering the victims no assistance, police said.

Gibson told police that she had been choked by the teens and that they had banged her head on the ground and ripped out her earrings. Fisher told police that he had eye problems for a few days after the attack due to the pepper spray, and that Gibson lost a few teeth and had to go to a local hospital for seizures.

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[Editor’s Note: There’s a good video report on this story at the original article link below.]

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