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Bus driver in critical condition after stabbing; EMBARK says safety measure are in place

<i>KOCO via CNN Newsource</i><br/>This comes after another bus driver was attacked while on the job in April.
KOCO via CNN Newsource
This comes after another bus driver was attacked while on the job in April.

By Meghan Mosley

Click here for updates on this story

    OKLAHOMA CITY (KOCO) — An EMBARK bus driver remains in critical condition Monday after being stabbed by a passenger.

Early Saturday morning, a man walked onto a bus with alcohol. When the driver told the man he couldn’t bring it on board, the passenger pulled out a knife and stabbed the driver, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

“For whatever reason, the man pulled out a knife at that point and attacked the driver, stabbing him in the neck,” Msgt. Gary Knight with Oklahoma City police said.

Despite the incident, EMBARK officials said there are several different safety measures in place for drivers and passengers, and the busses are still safe, calling the situation isolated.

“We do believe we have very, very safe system,” Jason Ferbrache, the director of OKC Public Transportation, said. “The challenge here is that really regardless of the amount of safety and security we put in place, we can’t control every individual’s behavior.”

In April, another bus driver was attacked while on the job.

“I think that’s the challenge we’re at here. Couple isolated events unfortunately where people we are serving have made bad choices and put our employees in harm’s way,” Ferbrache said.

While the system isn’t perfect, EMBARK officials said they work to fix it each year. They also have de-escalation training for operators.

Within the last year, a survey showed bus operators have asked for additional training on how to deal with customers.

“They had indicated that they wanted more training. How do we interact with customers? How do we interact with people?” Ferbrache said.

EMBARK also added that it doesn’t want customers to be driven away by the recent attacks. But there are things to do if they witness an attack.

“One of the things we try to remind our customers of all the time: see something, say something,” Ferbrache said.

EMBARK also said they have a committee that meets regularly to see how they can upgrade security measures.

The bus driver attacked on Saturday is still in the hospital.

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