Jessica, who spoke on condition that her last name not be used, was riding on the packed No. 358 bus in Seattle during the evening rush hour on Nov. 19. Around 7 p.m., a 19-year-old woman, three 16-year-old girls and a 14-year-old girl boarded the bus via the rear doors, investigators said.
"Me and my boyfriend got on the bus and we were listening to our Zune -- he had a headphone; I had a headphone -- and then the girls came on," said Jessica, who is due to give birth in June and was returning home after doctor checkup. "I didn't know them so I wasn't expecting anything and one of them started saying something to my boyfriend."
Surveillance video shows just 34 seconds after the girls boarded, one of the girls grabbed the Zune. When Jessica and her boyfriend resisted, the pair was attacked by the five girls, police said.
"Basically I was turned around, one of the girls hit me from the back," Jessica said. "I turned around to ask 'hey, what are you doing?' and then three of the other ones started hitting me."
She says she turned around again and was struck in the eye and began bleeding profusely.
Jessica mentioned twice that she was pregnant and said she didn't want to fight them, but she says one of them made the comment, "well, nobody hit her in the stomach."
"My main concern was for the baby," Jessica said. "None of them hit me in the stomach, but one of them was kicking me in the back and I just didn't want anything to happen."
Investigators said as the attack was occurring, three of the girls stole items from the boyfriend's pockets.
"They just started going through our pockets, and I was just like, 'Hey, what are you doing, get out of my pockets.' " Jessica said. She says they took the Zune and cigarettes from the boyfriend's pocket.
The attack continued until the bus pulled over and the victims were able to escape, police said.
Jessica was taken to Harborview Medical Center to receive six stitches for eye. Her boyfriend was just bruised. She says she had never met any of the five attackers before, but her boyfriend had met one of the five at a party last summer and that woman had claimed he stole her cell phone, a charge he denies.
Meanwhile, Metro Police tracked down three of the alleged attackers at 85th and Aurora about a half hour after the incident. The other two were arrested days later by Seattle Police officers.
"I think this assault kinda takes your breath away because you've got five girls... and they're assaulting these two who aren't even fighting back," said Sgt. John Urquhart with the King County Sheriff's Department. "To me, that's pretty egregious."
Investigators credited the surveillance camera on board with providing crucial evidence to crack the case.
"I don't see how people could watch this and not be outraged," Urquhart said. "Clearly (the girls) think this is OK, and they have no compunction doing this in front of a bus load of people in a bus that's clearly marked as a video coach... I'm lost. I just don't get the mindset going on there."
Urquhart says nearly 400 Metro buses have cameras with plans for another 250 buses to be equipped in the next few years.
Investigators say the 19-year-old was charged with assault and has since bailed out of jail. The other four girls were charged with second degree robbery. Three remain in custody while the fourth is on electronic home monitoring, police said.
All five girls have been arrested previously. "They're all very familiar with the criminal justice system," Urquhart said.
Jessica says she's glad they're off the streets.
"If they're going to be acting like that, you can't be out in public," she said. "It's just not the way to act, especially toward a pregnant female."
Urquhart says the bus driver did everything right -- he parked and waited after he called police. Investigators are glad that bus was one with a camera on board and say the incident could have happened anywhere and had nothing to do with safety issues on Metro buses.
They pointed out, however, that no passengers on the bus called 911.