Mother recognizes son after watching video of bus driver attack

A woman who saw the videotape of two males beating and stabbing a bus driver recognized one of them as her son and forced them to surrender to police Thursday night, according to court records released Friday.

Jackson County prosecutors charged her 20-year-old son, Lewis W. Perkins of Kansas City, with first-degree assault and armed criminal action for allegedly attacking the 52-year-old Metro bus driver Saturday night after a fare dispute. Perkins remained in jail Friday in lieu of a $100,000 bond. The driver identified Perkins as the one who stabbed him, court records said.

A 14-year-old boy who allegedly punched the driver in the face remains in the juvenile jail, facing similar charges. His name was not released because he is a juvenile. Police arrested both suspects Thursday night, one day after police publicly released photos taken on the bus during the attack. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority released video of the violent encounter Thursday.

The victim suffered stab wounds in his abdomen and back and is recovering at home, police said. He has been a driver for seven years and is expected to return to the job, ATA officials said. The ATA issued a statement Friday thanking police for their work and tipsters for helping detectives identify the suspects.

“While incidents of violence on Metro buses are extremely rare,” an ATA press release said, “it is important that the community responds quickly to these threats to public safety.”

Police and court records said the attackers boarded the bus about 9:15 p.m. near 31st Street and Askew Avenue, but didn’t pay their fares. The men also cursed the driver for being late.

Someone on the bus offered to pay the fares to smooth over the dispute. The men prepared to sit down, but continued to curse and harass the driver.

The driver then pulled over and told the men to get off the bus. When they refused, he tried to to escort them off the bus. That’s when they attacked him.

Other passengers did not intervene, but one recorded the incident on his cell phone and another retrieved the driver’s cell phone and used it to call 911.

It was the third attack against an ATA driver since October.