Photo by: Sean Delancey

By: Felicia Jordan

CINCINNATI — Three Cincinnati Metro drivers were assaulted over the weekend, according to a spokesperson with Metro.

The attacks happened in two separate incidents, both on Saturday night. All three Metro operators were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Suspects are in police custody, according to Metro. The transportation agency is working with the Cincinnati Police Department as the incidents are investigated.

On Saturday, police said the first attack happened just after 7:30 p.m. near Washington Park, on Metro route 21. A second incident happened on route 24, resulting in the arrest of a person at the scene. Police said in that case, passengers attacked the driver.

The extent of the injuries the three operators sustained have not been released by authorities. Police also did not say how many people were arrested in connection with the assaults, but court documents show Matthew Harkins was one of them.

The 43-year-old was a passenger on Metro bus 24. According to court documents, Harkins “became angered when the driver said the wrong street name.” He then allegedly kicked the driver and broke a plexi-glass partition in the bus.

Court documents say Harkins then took a sharp piece of the plexi-glass and attacked the driver. After that, Harkins allegedly hit the driver in the head repeatedly with a closed fist.

“The assault spiled out onto the ground outside the bus doors where the defendant continued to beat and kick the victim in the head, body and legs,” reads the court document.

Throughout the entire attack, the court documents say Harkins also continuously called the driver racial slurs.

He faces one charge of felonious assault, a charge of vandalism, one charge of criminal trespass and two charges of resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 25.

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