Bus, interrupted: Problematic passenger prompts stop near I-94 Taylor exit
A Montana bus driver who was warned by police that a passenger could be problematic said it was helpful that she had experience working with a mentally-impaired relative when it came time to get a delusional man off of the bus this morning.
An ambulance transported a passenger to St. Joseph's Hospital after Dickinson area law enforcement responded to a 911 call at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. The call was made near the Taylor exit off Interstate 94 from a Trailways bus headed to Miles City, Mont., from Fargo, bus driver Cindy Ward said.
The passenger, whose name was not released, did not have a weapon and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
No one was injured and the bus was allowed to continue on its way.
The male passenger, in his 30s, started talking to himself loudly and approached the bus driver about the music and "his sentence," Ward said.
She told him to return to his seat and he called 911.
Ward said the man then charged the front of the bus and she pulled over at the Taylor exit. He started kicking the exit door demanding to be let out. Ward opened the door and he started to exit the bus.
"We are trained that the safety of the passengers always comes first," Ward said, adding he charged her. She held on to the rails and blocked him from returning to the bus.
She wouldn't let him past the ramp and he said if he could get his "stuff" he would then leave. Other passengers couldn't find his bag.
The man then asked for a light for his cigarette, Ward said. Ward joined him off the bus and had a cigarette with him. Once off the bus she locked the door.
Ward said he accused her of attempting to rape him. Ward talked with him until law enforcement arrived on the scene. Once he had a cigarette, he calmed down "and really was a nice man," Ward said.
The man asked to be transported to a hospital, claiming he hadn't slept for five days, Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Kadrmas said.
"When I dealt with him -- I had him in my car for an hour -- he explained what was going on," he said. "He was very cooperative."
The passenger had called the police at the bus station in Fargo prior to loading on the bus to report that he had been assaulted.
Fargo police, Ward and the passenger spoke before leaving Fargo and decided he was OK to get on the bus and travel to Miles City.
A report will be sent to the Stark County States Attorney's Office in Dickinson where charges may be filed.
Press reporter April Baumgarten contributed to this story.