Teen girls say driver kicked them off bus for kissing

Teen girls say driver kicked them off bus for kissing

PORTLAND, Ore. - Two gay teen girls who say they were kicked off a TriMet bus for being affectionate with each other are considering lodging a complaint against the driver of the bus.

Maika Rich and Jocelyn O'Neal, both 14, admit they were kissing while on the No. 12 bus traveling on Barbur Boulevard at about 5 p.m. on June 8. They were headed to the Sexual Minority Youth Recreation Center.

They say a female passenger complained to the driver about the kissing and that the driver told them to "knock it off" and also called them "sickos."

Rich says she then gave O'Neal a hug because it appeared she was upset about the exchange. They say at that point the driver stopped the bus and ordered them off.

The girls say they are used to being picked on at school but felt defenseless against an adult.

Maika Rich's mother, Ronnda Zezula, says she doesn't think the driver would have treated two gay adults or a heterosexual couple in the same manner.

She says she had the girls take that particular bus so they would not have to make a transfer in an unfamiliar part of the city.

A TriMet spokesperson says it is the policy of the organization to never kick an underage or vulnerable person off a bus.

The girls say they would have stopped kissing if the driver had told them he might make them get off the bus before their destination.

TriMet says they are talking to the driver about the incident and an investigation is continuing.

O'Neal says she is hesitant about taking the No. 12 bus again since it means she may see the driver again.