RENTON, Wash. -- A King County Metro bus driver attacked a passenger with his fists and an 8-pound wheel block after the passenger spit on him at the Renton Transit Center, according to the King County Sheriff's Office. Both men are now facing assault charges.
According to probable-cause documents filed with King County District Court, Dennis Echols pulled his Metro Route 101 bus into the Renton Transit Center shortly before 10 a.m. Nov. 18, completing his trip from downtown Seattle to Renton.
As the rest of the passengers exited, Ethan McKinney stayed aboard, apparently asleep on one of the benches, according to the documents. McKinney would later tell detectives he was pretty hung over from the night before.
Echols repeatedly told McKinney to get off the bus. But, McKinney continued to at least appear asleep despite Echols warning him he would call police and banging on a storage locker to wake him up.
When McKinney finally did sit up, wiping drool from his mouth, Echols said, "I'm taking a break; get off the bus," according to the probable-cause documents. This led to a shouting match between the two men.
According to the documents, Echols picked up a dense rubber wheel block and raised it over his head, asking McKinney, "You want this in your (expletive) face?" Echols then reportedly kicked McKinney's backpack out of the bus and onto the wet ground.
At that, McKinney stood up and spit in Echols face, according to the documents. Echols would later tell detectives, "Once he spit on me ... I lost it."
According to the probable-cause documents, Echols threw the wheel block at the back of McKinney's head as McKinney went to leave the bus, causing him to stumble out.
Echols then pinned McKinney against a bench, punching him multiple times in the head and body, before throwing him to the ground and kicking him, according to the documents.
Echols called 911, and the two men continued to yell and threaten each other.
When officers from the Renton Police Department arrived, McKinney was reportedly uncooperative and belligerent. He was arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault.
After subsequent interviews and investigation, both McKinney and Echols have been charged with assault.
McKinney's father, Craig McKinney, has seen the video. He said nobody deverves to get beat like his son did, but also said it was a disturbing exchange for the driver.
"I really feel sorry for that bus driver," he said."I know everybody needs a job, I really feel sorry for him and I apologize to the bus driver for my son spitting on him."