May 06--An unruly bus passenger was in critical condition Tuesday after a MATA security officer pushed him out of the bus and onto the concrete, according to a transit authority spokesman.
The passenger got onto the bus in Midtown and had a dispute with the driver over his fare, then continued to cause a disturbance during the route.
The driver, who apparently did not consider the situation serious enough to radio for help during the route, instead asked for security assistance at the North Terminal, said Tom Fox, MATA's interim general manager.
"The situation escalated" when the guard got involved, Fox said.
The passenger was pushed, falling out of the bus and striking his head on the pavement. A MATA dispatcher contacted paramedics immediately and the man was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
"We're really appalled by the actions of the security guard," Fox said. "The contract security guard just went way beyond what was reasonable in the situation."
The guard was detained by Memphis police, but it was unclear whether charges had been filed by Tuesday afternoon.
Security services for MATA are contracted out to Pro-Tech Security, a locally based firm.
Fox said he planned to speak with the firm about its procedures.
A woman who answered the phone for Pro-Tech Security said the firm had no comment.
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