HAMDEN -- A CT Transit bus passenger was arrested in March for attacking a driver, but it's the response that got the driver fired.
And, now the driver is speaking out.
"He took a couple of Derek Jeter swings and then he jumped on me," said fired CTtransit driver Stefan Knox, describing the blow to the head he took March 4th from the cane of 65-year-old William Horn, of New Haven.
"I thought I grabbed him to hold him off of me, but it looked like he hit me a couple more times upside the head," he said.
Knox said he didn't remember much of the incident because of the blows to his head.
"When we scuffled on the bus a little bit, I jumped off the bus and I didn’t know I was bleeding until I went to the guard shack," said Knox of the incident, which occurred just outside the main gate to the CTtransit campus in Hamden.
Knox was fired on Mach 28 for what he did moments after the initial altercation. CTtransit said they terminated Knox because he "physically re-engaged his assailant."
Horn was walking down the middle of the road, next to the guard shack, when Knox came flying off of the CT Transit property and attacked Horn.
Why did you do that?
"I literally don’t remember," Knox said.
He claims company doctors told him he might have suffered a concussion. And, he said he had headaches for weeks. The company said Knox is free to appeal their decision through his union's grievance process.
"I’m not asking for charity," Knox said. "I’m not asking for this, that and the other. I want my job back."
Knox said he and other drivers have requested protection from attacks like this for years. He and his union said only one greater New Haven CTtransit bus presently has a driver barrier.
"If you can put it on one bus, you can put it on a hundred buses," he said.
And, Knox says, de-escalation training is needed too.
This Friday, at bar/restaurant called "50's on Fitch," in New Haven, a group of bus drivers will be holding a fundraiser for Knox.