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Brawl breaks out when Chinatown bus driver doesn’t make Richmond stop

Posted at 12:46 PM, Mar 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-23 15:45:02-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- What started as a misunderstanding between a non-English speaking bus driver and passengers, turned into a brawl on I-95.

"There was a lot of commotion going on and I thought for sure someone was going to call 911 before me," said passenger Corey Daniels.

Monday, around 4:30 a.m., a fight broke out on board a Chinatown bus that was traveling to North Carolina from New York, with a stop in Richmond. Or so passengers thought.

State police said the driver did not speak or understand English and did not know he was supposed to stop in Richmond.  Passengers asked him to stop but he refused.

Daniels said that is when things escalated. "They were like pummeling the driver," Daniels explained.

He said things got out of control near the Maury Street exit on I-95 south.

"He was dragged out of his chair, the bus was actually swerving in and out of lanes for a half mile or so."  Daniels  said that is when he texted his mom, asking her to call 911.  "I was able to do everything silently by sending her my GPS location."

Daniels said this experience proved all buses need to have an emergency action plan.

"Just like planes, bus drivers need to go over safety protocol with passengers, there needs to be an organized plan."

The bus driver showed signs of struggle but chose not to press charges against any passengers.  He was ticketed for driving a bus without a having a commercial driver's license.

State police say the bus belonged to a company out of New York, General Bus Inc.