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Dorchester man faces charges in attack on bus driver

A Dorchester man is facing arraignment today in Dorchester Municipal Court after he allegedly assaulted an MBTA bus driver Saturday morning.

Joel Casanova, 34, is facing charges of interfering with public transportation and assault and battery on a public employee.

MBTA Transit Police responded to Blue Hill Avenue and Columbia Road to reports of a disorderly man aboard a Route 22 bus at about 9:50 a.m. Saturday. Upon arrival, the bus driver told them that Casanova had harassed a female passenger before charging toward the driver and smashing his head into the driver’s-side window.

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Casanova boarded the bus at Blue Hill Avenue and Charlotte Street and allegedly began harassing a women who asked him to leave her alone.

“[She] made it quite clear she was not interested in what Casanova had to say, nor was she interested in his company while riding the bus,” Detective Richard Sullivan, a Transit Police spokesman, said today in an e-mail.

He then moved to the back of the bus and began shouting threats and profanities toward the bus driver, Transit Police said.

He stood up shortly thereafter and began running towards the bus driver and grabbing his head and shoving it against the window, officials said.

“Fortunately, the bus operator did not appear to suffer any serious or permanent injury,” Sullivan said.

Transit Police located Casanova, who appeared to be intoxicated, walking up Blue Hill Avenue. Before he was arrested, Casanova told them he wanted to “punch the operator in the mouth,” and asked an officer if he could punch him in the mouth instead, Transit Police said.

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