PORTLAND, Ore. -- The man behind the wheel of a Greyhound bus during an unprovoked attack is speaking out.
“I still can’t get over what happened,” said Clint Lawson. “It’s worn me down.”
On the night of Nov. 29, 55-year-old Lawson was driving more than two dozen passengers from Portland to Boise when the unthinkable happened. Lawson says one of the passengers broke through the security barrier and attacked him.
“He was fighting me and yelling, ‘I’m going to kill you, I want off the bus,’ and all this stuff,” said Lawson.
Two passengers came to Lawson’s defense. He is grateful for that. It allowed him just enough time to bring the bus to a stop on the shoulder of I-84 in Troutdale. It is then that Lawson realized he had been slashed.
“I looked down and my shirt was covered in blood and my neck was a mess,” he said.
Lawson says deputies were on scene in seconds. They arrested the suspected assailant, later identified as Robert Moran Vasquez. According to court documents, Vasquez told investigators he was high on meth at the time of the attack.
“It’s what we deal with on the job,” said Lawson. “The easiest way to get around.”
Maybe Greyhound is the easiest, most affordable mode of transportation, but Lawson says the attack was inexcusable.
“Because there are other lives and families on board," he said.
Those innocent lives could have been lost had it not been for Lawson’s control behind the wheel.
Some will call him a hero, but he is not having any of that.
“Doing my job, basically,” he said.
Greyhound released the following statement on Lawson:
"We are deeply sorry for the driver’s experience and believe he handled the horrific incident remarkably well. By acting quickly and instinctively to pull the bus over safely and call the local authorities for assistance, he prevented the situation from escalating. We are working directly with the driver to address his concerns and ensure that he is taken care of. He will have no interruption in pay, his medical bills are covered and he’ll receive any additional compensation owed to him. Greyhound will assist in obtaining any other services that are necessary in order for him to recover from this unfortunate incident."
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