The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A Cobb Community Transit driver, stabbed while trying to break up a fight on his bus, has been suspended pending further investigation because he didn't follow "protocol," a county spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
Cobb County Sheriff's Office Taniesha Nicole Twyne, 21, of Mableton has been charged with aggravated battery and theft by conversion after police said she stabbed a Cobb Community Transit bus driver who intervened in an argument over a cell phone Monday in Kennesaw.
Spokeswoman AikWah Leow said Damian Haney, 39, was suspended with pay by Veolia Transportation, the company that provides drivers for the CCT system. Leow said Haney did not follow Veolia’s protocol Monday afternoon in the altercation that led to his stabbing.
Instead of trying to calm the situation when suspect Taniesha Nicole Twyne allegedly got into an argument over a cell phone with another passenger, Haney should have stayed in his seat and called CCT dispatch, which would have called 911, Leow said.
Leow said the procedure is designed to ensure the safety of both passengers and driver.
Efforts to reach Haney, who has been a CCT driver for 3 1/2 years, were unsuccessful Wednesday. Efforts were also being made to reach a spokesman for Veolia.
Police said Twyne, 21, of Mableton, was charged with aggravated battery after she stabbed Haney with a pen as he tried to break up the fight on the bus outside the Town Center at Cobb mall on Earnest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.
The incident happened shortly after 3 p.m., police said. Twyne had borrowed a male passenger's cell phone, and an argument broke out when she allegedly refused to return it to him.
Twyne first pulled out a knife when Haney intervened, police said. Other passengers took the knife from her, and the woman then allegedly grabbed a pen from Haney's shirt pocket and stabbed him repeatedly in the face.
Twyne was subdued and held until police arrived and took her into custody. Haney, of Lawrenceville, was treated at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta and released.
Veolia employees 200 people for CCT bus and paratransit services. The company, which has held its contract for seven years, provides bus operators, dispatchers, mechanics, supervisors and customer service representatives, Leow said.
"In the last 10 years, no incident of this kind has happened," the Cobb County spokeswoman said. CCT has an annual ridership of 4.5 million passengers, she said.