Somerville Man Allegedly Threatens Bus Operator For 'Driving Too Slowly'

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SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A man from Somerville is under arrest for allegedly telling a bus driver he was going too slow, threatening to hit him with a wooden block early Friday evening.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police said they responded to the area of Highland Avenue and Benton Street in Somerville for a report that an MBTA driver was being threatened by a passenger. According to the driver, 22-year-old Wakell Steele boarded his bus at Davis Square, and signaled a stop request along the route. When the driver pulled over, officials say Steele was agitated and demanded his fare payment back, accusing the operator of driving too slowly.

From there, Steele allegedly picked up a chock block located near a storage compartment towards the front of the bus, reiterating his demand for a refund. Officials say that block weighs around five pounds, is relatively large, as it's used to secure the tires when the bus is not in use.

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Out of fear of being struck, officials say the driver pushed past the suspect and pointed out Steele to officers. When confronted, Steele told officers to remove their belts, something Transit Police believe was a challenge implying "officers are only tough with their guns on."

Steele was brought into custody and charged with Assault by Mean of a Dangerous Weapon.

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