According to Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly, the passenger was getting off the bus when the operator told her, “Have a nice day.”
“Are you talking to me?” the passenger responded, according to Metro.
“Yes,” the bus operator said.
And that, Metro says, is when the rider lashed out.
Metro’s narrative — that the rider threw her cup of urine after the driver told her to “have a nice day” — was confirmed when Brown spoke with NBC4 and said she didn’t appreciate the tone in which the driver delivered the greeting.
“She said ‘have a nice day’ all sarcastically,” Brown told the station. “She could have been more courteous.”
On a Facebook account that appeared to belong to Brown, similar sentiments were expressed early Wednesday morning, after news broke that police were seeking the perpetrator of the assault.
“OK YALL KNOW IT WAS ME,” said the Facebook post, following several news stories about the incident that were also shared on the account. ” I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO HER BUT METRO OWE ME AND [she] WAS BEING VERY RUDE.”
The woman also confirmed Metro’s statement that she had relieved herself on the bus, using a cup: “I had to go to the bathroom real, real bad,” she told NBC4.
In a surveillance video released by Metro, Brown is seen standing near the door at the front of the bus holding a purple tumbler, apparently waiting to disembark. Once the bus comes to a stop, the woman turns around, flings the contents of the cup at the bus driver, throws the cup on the ground, and dashes off the bus and down the block.
Metro’s surveillance footage also captured her urinating near the back of the bus before the assault occurred.
“The suspect is believed to have relieved herself on the bus using the cup,” Ly said.
The bus driver was not injured in the assault, though she went to a hospital for “decontamination,” Ly said.
The bus involved in Saturday’s incident featured a plastic shield meant to protect drivers from passenger assaults. But the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, the union that represents Metro bus drivers, said in a statement Tuesday that Metro should seek out input from workers and the union to find ways to improve the design of the shields and take other steps to prevent assaults on operators.
“A disgusting act like the one on Saturday can not only endanger the operator, but also endanger everyone on that bus,” the statement said. “Unnecessarily placing workers and the riding public in danger is never acceptable when Metro can and should do more.”
In 2016, there were 75 recorded assaults on Metro bus operators, though that was down from 87 the year before.
Some transit agencies — including Transport for London — have outfitted operators with “spit kits” that can be used to collect saliva samples when they are spat on, so police can use DNA testing to determine the identity of the person who assaulted them.