Two Metrobus drivers were attacked and stabbed aboard their buses last night after disputes with disruptive passengers, D.C. police and Metro officials said.
In the first incident, a driver whose bus was filled with evening rush-hour passengers was stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver near 7th and K streets NW when he confronted a man who had been holding open the rear exit door, police said.
In the other incident, a man who had been ejected from a bus in far Southeast Washington after an argument over transfers met the bus near the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at the end of its run and attacked the driver with a sharp object, authorities said.
"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before, and I work some tough routes," said driver Hardy Perry, 43, of Northwest Washington, a nine-year Metro veteran who was injured in the first incident.
Perry was at the wheel of his No. 70 bus, headed for Silver Spring about 6 p.m., when he noticed that a man was holding open the rear door. He went to the door, he said, to tell the man to get on the bus or get off, when the man attacked him with a screwdriver.
Perry was slashed on the chin, cheek and head, and in grappling with his attacker, suffered torn ligaments in his leg. He received 12 stitches and his leg was put in a cast before he was released from Howard University Hospital late last night.
"You just can't tell about people on the bus any more," Perry said, noting that he was told it might be as long as two months before he could return to work. A suspect was arrested in the incident a short time later, but his identity could not be learned last night.
According to police and a Metro spokesman, the second attack apparently stemmed from an incident that occurred about 7:30 p.m. after three men boarded a V-6 bus at Minnesota Avenue and Ely Place SE and presented invalid transfers to driver Ricardo A. Henzsley.
Following an argument with the men, the driver ordered them off the bus and they obeyed, Metro spokesman Al Long said. About a half-hour later -- after the bus had reached the end of its route at 14th and C streets SW near the Bureau of Engraving -- the same three men got back on board, police said.
One of them attacked Henzsley with an unidentified sharp implement as a horrified waiting passenger pleaded with the men to "please stop, please stop," police said. Henzsley, 30, was stabbed in both arms and the abdomen and was listed in fair condition early today at George Washington University Hospital.
No arrests were reported in the incident.
Long said he had no statistics on the number of attacks on drivers, but said they occurred "every so often. It's just amazing what happens to them out there."