Metro Bus Driver Collared After McGruff the Crime Dog Is Cuffed on NW Corner

McGruff the Crime Dog helps build crime awareness among children.
McGruff the Crime Dog helps build crime awareness among children. (Susan Saulny - Washington Post)
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By Theola Labbé-DeBose
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

D.C. police said a Metro bus driver was charged with assault Saturday after a bizarre incident in which he allegedly punched a patrol officer who was dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog, the popular mascot who educates children about crime prevention.

The driver, Shawn Brim, 39, got out of the bus he was driving at Spring Road and 14th Street NW early Saturday afternoon and punched Officer Tyrone Hardy in the head, police said.

Hardy was wearing his McGruff costume head at the time.

The incident, first reported yesterday by the Washington Examiner, occurred in front of a group of children. Police said Brim was charged with simple assault.

Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith said Brim was driving the No. 52 bus, heading south to L'Enfant Plaza, when he stopped at 14th and Spring. She said Brim got out to adjust the mirrors, then allegedly punched the costumed officer.

Brim then got back on the bus and drove for a few blocks until police stopped him, Smith said.

A Metrobus supervisor who went to the scene was told by Brim that he punched the big, droopy-eared crime dog "to be funny," Smith said.

"Obviously, no one here finds it funny, and we don't tolerate that kind of behavior from our employees," Smith said.

Smith said that Brim, who was hired by Metro in June 2003, underwent drug and alcohol testing after the alleged assault, which she said is agency policy when an employee whose job involves the safety of others is involved in an incident or accident.

"His future with the organization is under review," Smith said.

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