DC Metrobus attack victim speaks exclusively with FOX 5 about what led up to brutal assault
WASHINGTON - In an exclusive interview with FOX 5, Kyla Thurston, the woman seen being attacked and pushed off of a D.C. Metrobus says she hopes what happened to her will compel Metro officials to find a way to keep the same thing from happening to anyone else.
"I wouldn't want, you know, no one else to have to go through this – it's emotional just thinking about it," Thurston said.
Thurston spoke with FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick Wednesday and told her the situation began after she asked a group of youth sitting nearby to stop using foul language after she gave up her seat to a young woman who came onboard the bus with her young children.
"At that point, the kids became unruly. They started being disrespectful, like saying things to me," Thurston said. "Then next thing you know, there were objects being throw at me, and I was just like, ‘Thank You, Lord,' because throughout the whole incident the only thing I could recall was the kids hitting me and kicking me - and I had no defense."
Thurston said she asked the bus driver numerous times to stop, but the bus kept moving. "The bus driver made no attempt to stop the bus. He didn't alert local authorities or anything to my defense," she said. "Even after I'm yelling at the top of my lungs, ‘Stop the bus – let me off the bus,' the bus driver never stopped."
Eventually the bus did stop at another stop location. That's when Thurston said she was kicked and pushed off of the bus by her attackers.
The video is difficult to watch. A cell phone camera captured several people who appear to be juveniles - and possibly some adults - grabbing Thurston around the face and neck while shoving her off the vehicle. The mother who Thurston gave her seat to said the attackers threw bottles at her and tried to chock her.
Thurston said her arm was bruised, and her neck was hurt in the attack. The back of her jacket was ripped and shredded. She said she is still suffering emotionally from the assault.
"Watching the video myself personally, it startled me - and I'm still startled about it," she said adding that she's grateful for the passenger who shot video of the attack and who came forward on her behalf. "I didn't want to come forth at first - but I don't fear nobody but the Lord," she said.
Thurston said she hopes Metro takes the proper steps to provide passengers with adequate safety while onboard – even possibly limiting the number of youth that can ride at any given time. In the meantime, Thurston said she will be speaking with a Metro Transit Police investigator soon. She also said the attack won't stop her from riding the bus again.
"I'm going to continue riding Metro because - like I said - I don't fear nobody but God."