Accused of spraying driver with pepper spray outside Westchester Medical Center
HAWTHORNE, NY— July 20, 2019 – Westchester County Police arrested a White Plains woman yesterday and charged her with assaulting a Bee-Line bus driver last month outside the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
Johniazia Torres, 24, of West Post Road was charged with Assault 2nd Degree, a felony. She was arraigned this afternoon in Mount Pleasant Town Court and released on her own recognizance.
The June 12 attack occurred at 10:30 p.m. after a female passenger demanded that the driver allow her to get off the bus directly in front of the hospital entrance. The driver told the passenger that the bus could not discharge passengers until it reached a nearby bus stop.
When the bus stopped at Hospital Oval East and Emergency Drive to let passengers off, the woman approached the driver and sprayed her with pepper spray. The driver experienced a burning sensation in her eyes and had difficulty breathing. She was treated at the medical center and released that night.
An immediate search of the hospital and surrounding areas was conducted by patrol officers but the suspect could not be located. The case was then turned over to Detectives Brandon Amlung and Michael Petruolo of the General Investigations Unit. They took Torres into custody at her home yesterday .
“The safety of transit personnel and riders has always been a top priority for the Westchester County Police,” Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said. “Our detectives were committed to closing this case with an arrest no matter how long it took. I commend them for their diligent efforts to identify and apprehend a suspect in this incident.”