Man charged with spitting in bus driver’s face, punching him in nose in Malden incident

A teenager is facing charges for spitting in a bus driver’s face, then punching him and bloodying his nose early this morning in Malden, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

Ryan O’Donnell (Transit Police)

Ryan O’Donnell, 19, of Wakefield didn’t have enough funds on his CharlieCard while trying to board the Route 131 bus at Oak Grove Station, Transit Police said. When the bus operator, a 58-year-old 10-year MBTA veteran employee told O’Donnell he didn’t cover the fare, “O’Donnell became belligerent and demanded to ride for free,” police said.

The driver then asked O’Donnell to leave the bus. O’Donnell moved to exit the bus, but turned, and spat on the driver, Transit Police said.

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A struggle then ensued, Transit Police said, and O’Donnell punched the driver in the face multiple times, severely bloodying his nose.

Transit Police arrested O’Donnell at 6:45 a.m. He is being arraigned today in Malden District Court on assault and battery charges, Transit Police said.

The Route 131 bus travels through Melrose and Malden.