Bus Attack Showers Operator with Glass

Smashed windshield of the B42 Bus
Smashed windshield of the B42 Bus

JUNE 14 -- A Bus Operator in Brooklyn was the victim of a horrendous attack early Saturday when a man hurled a concrete slab at her front windshield. Lapreecia Oquendo, a bus operator for 19 years, was attacked at 1:33 a.m. on Saturday at the wheel of the B42 in Canarsie, Brooklyn. As she was driving northbound on Rockaway Parkway, a man emerged from between two parked cars and threw a 15-pound concrete slab at the driver’s window, smashing it and sending shards of glass throughout the bus. Oquendo was showered with tiny glass particles, creating a lingering burning sensation on her legs, arms and hands.

“This is a despicable act of violence,” Local 100 President Tony Utano, said.  “This individual needs to be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Video from the bus should provide an image of this criminal and we will do whatever we can to make sure it is widely distributed to help the police make an arrest.”

Oquendo said she was driving north on Rockaway Parkway near the piers when the frightening attack happened. “He just came out of nowhere and hurled this slab of concrete at the bus,” she told Local 100. “The whole thing just exploded. I didn’t know what was going on. It was a scary situation. If his aim wasn’t off, or if he threw it one second sooner, it definitely would have hit the driver’s side of the window – and I wouldn’t be here. He was trying to kill me. Why else would you throw a slab of concrete at a bus?”

Oquendo said transit riders in that area are very upset that the bus service during the subway shutdown doesn’t mirror the closed subway lines. That assessment was echoed by the Vice Chairman of the East New York Depot, Javier Oquendo, who is the Bus Operator's husband. Her route runs from the L-train station at Rockaway Parkway to the Canarsie piers.

“This is what happens when the MTA screws up: irate riders target transit workers,” Utano said. “The bus schedules during the subway shutdown are inadequate and need to be revisited.”