Police: Veteran bus driver fights off attack in Bremerton

Police: Veteran bus driver fights off attack in Bremerton

A 58-year-old Port Orchard man was arrested Wednesday after an alleged violent outburst on a Kitsap Transit bus, police said in a court filing Thursday.

Wesley E. Ward faces felony assault charges after police say he attacked veteran driver Marvin W. Jackson, Sr., while Jackson was supervising a new driver on a bus traveling near 6th Street and Pacific Ave around 12:30 p.m. According to a certificate of probable cause prepared by the Bremerton Police Department, Ward allegedly hit Jackson in the face and “repeatedly stabb[ed] Jackson with a pen, causing a small puncture wound to Jackson’s right hand.”

No motive for the attack was given by police in the statement. Police say Jackson, a long time Kitsap Transit employee and former “Driver of the Year” according to a KT spokesperson, held the attacker to the floor until police officers arrived.

Ward was also charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer after police allege he rushed an arresting officer after an “unsuccessful Taser application.” Ward allegedly grabbed the officer’s microphone and pulled it from its strap.

“Jackson and [the officer] wrestled Ward to the ground,” the statement reads, “and [the officer] was able to secure him in hand restraints.”

Jackson joined Kitsap Transit in 2002. An experienced driver, part of his responsibilities are to coach trainees after they have acquired their commercial licenses, KT spokesperson Sanjay Bhatt said.

A quote attributed to Jackson on the Kitsap Transit website reads, “I come to work because I love helping people.”

Bhatt said Jackson was placed on paid leave after the attack.

“We’re cooperating with the police in their investigation,” he said. “We will support prosecution of the suspect to the fullest extent of the law.”

The maximum penalty for assault in the third degree on a transit operator or supervisor is five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Ward was being held on $50,000 bail Thursday. A competency hearing was scheduled for March 28.

Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.

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