A man has been charged with assaulting a trolley driver in St. Petersburg, Florida. The incident occurred on Tuesday when Obdulio Chacon boarded a trolley near the pier while the driver was on break. Upon the driver’s return, Chacon allegedly began punching him unprovoked. The driver fell backward down the steps, hitting his head on the concrete. Chacon then continued to beat the unconscious driver.
Pinellas County deputies swiftly launched an investigation and issued a “be on the lookout” alert to transit authority operators. Within 24 hours, Chacon was spotted on a bus in Largo, leading to his arrest by the Largo Police Department.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway emphasized the role of modern technology in apprehending criminals, stating that surveillance cameras often capture evidence that aids in investigations. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has implemented safety improvements, including safety barriers and protocols for drivers to remain vigilant while on and off the bus.
However, the union representing PSTA drivers believes more should be done to protect them. SEIU Florida Public Services Union representative April Murphy called for further discussions on enhancing safety measures, such as providing mace for drivers in extreme situations.
The PSTA confirmed that the assaulted driver is recovering at home. Chacon, who has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1996, will face charges related to the assault.