It’s quickly become the punch heard ‘round the world, a video showing Cleveland RTA bus driver Artis Hughes upper-cutting Shidea Lane. Hughes, 59, has been placed on unpaid suspension while the busing company investigates the matter.
According to reports, Lane boarded without paying and claimed she “left her book bag (sic).”
After several minutes of back-and-forth, Lane allegedly spit on Hughes and as video shows, punched the 22-year veteran driver (right around the 2:58 minute mark). What follows is, well, a beat-down.
First, I don’t condone any type of unprovoked violence – especially against women – but I feel ZERO sympathy for Lane. Zero. She was combative from the start (allegedly), spit on the driver (allegedly), and attacked him first, for which we have definitive proof.
If you ask me she got what she deserved. You cannot expect to attack anyone without some type of ramification. Period.
And as Hughes is quoted as saying, “She want to be a man, I’m gonna treat you like a man.”
She did. And she was.
And I bet there won’t be a next time for Ms. Lane.
As for Hughes, well, he definitely could have handled it better. For his reaction, no matter how many supporters show up on the “In Defense of Cleveland RTA Driver Not Being Fired” page, he’s going to lose his job.
He shouldn’t have laid his hands on her. His life wasn’t in any immediate danger. And definitely didn’t require that type of retaliation. I suspect that RTA will make an announcement claiming that while Hughes acted in self-defense, there is a zero policy for violence. Or something like that, I’m sure.
In the end, though, this will be one of those lessons for both parties: Lane got some sense knocked into her — for which we’re probably better off as a society — and Hughes will ultimately pay with it for his job. And, unfortunately, it’s just another black eye for the city.