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More safety needed on the buses

August 8, 2012

I feel this story has to be told. The evening of July 13, 2012, my friend was taking care of me because of a bad accident that occurred May 25, 2010. Both of us were on a city bus. Well, a young hooligan on the bus was looking for trouble and excitement, I guess. He turned quickly and began punching my friend. I am crippled to begin with. I was knocked down as we were walking to get off the bus at the terminal. Two security guards got on the bus at this point, but they did nothing. This incident was recorded on an RMTD video camera. Someone asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I said yes. I was taken to SwedishAmerican Hospital, where a staff person got a police officer to come to the hospital to get a report. The police officer became angry and asked what happened to the person who attacked me. I said I didn’t know what happened to him. The officer said he would take care of it. I have not heard anything since.

The bus driver cannot keep an eye on the passengers and drive at the same time. It’s a dirty shame that disabled people cannot ride safely on the city buses. I normally use a scooter chair. Two weeks later, I again got on the bus without the chair but was seated on the bus. Two men on the bus got into an argument. One young man took me over to sit with him for safety reasons. The bus driver said, “They know what we will do.” But the police were not called, and the two men sat down. As they got off the bus, they began arguing again.

July 25, I went to the police department and filed a complaint and a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the earlier incident. I am now awaiting a response.

We need more protection from drunks and hoodlums in this city.

Geraldine Kilgore
Rockford

From the Aug. 8-14, 2012, issue

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