A Metro Transit bus driver who got into a fight with a passenger was charged Thursday with misdemeanor assault, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.
James Nomntau Yang, 46, of St. Paul was standing on the driver's seat of the bus with a hammer in his hand when Metro Transit police arrived on the scene at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 2, according to a criminal complaint.
In the aisle was passenger Adrieanne Simmons, "holding a folding knife and yelling that she wanted to press charges," said the complaint, filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.
The officer told both Yang and Simmons to put away their weapons, which they did.
The complaint contains these additional details:
Yang was upset, he told police, because Simmons had taken a photo of him with her cellphone. He grabbed the phone and threw it to the ground. He alleged Simmons then punched him in the mouth.
As Yang spoke to the officer, Simmons "was very upset and ... yelling into her cellphone that she was going to sue everyone."
A Metro Transit investigator reviewed the bus surveillance video. On it, Yang and Simmons appear to be arguing as Simmons gets off the bus at University Avenue and Dale Street. Simmons gets back on the bus and snaps Yang's picture. When she leaves again, Yang follows her and takes the cellphone. They get back on the bus and fight over the phone; Yang throws it down, cracking the screen.
Yang is seen on the video "punching Ms. Simmons twice in the head area." Simmons' cheek was swollen after the incident. Yang suffered a cut to his upper lip, the complaint said.
Yang was summoned to appear in court on Jan. 27.
Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522. Follow her on Twitter.com @emilygurnon.
Copyright 2013 - Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.