Not wanting to be recorded in public, a Washington city bus driver attacked a man with a camera Saturday, telling him, “If you take my picture, I’ll fucking lay you out, sonofabitch.”
The driver then stormed up to Scott Shimek with a hand over his face to conceal his identity, invading the photographer’s personal space while telling him, “get the hell away from me, punk.”
He then tried to snatch Shimek’s camera.
Shimek, who was open carrying with a Glock .40 caliber on his belt, told him, “you better get the fuck out of my face.”
Before it was over, the InterCity Transit bus driver would stick his face into Shimek’s lens and wag his tongue, then punch him a few times before trying to gouge out one of his eyes.
Shimek, who was taking a sip of coffee during one of these attacks, ended up spitting a mouthful of coffee at the man, which is what really set him off.
But Shimek ended up placing the man in a headlock.
Within ten minutes, officers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, the Tacoma Police Department and the Pierce Transit Public Safety responded to the scene and determined the bus driver was in the wrong.
But they only cited the driver, never handcuffing him, nor providing Shimek with his name, probably allowing him to go about his day driving his bus.
Shimek explains how they determined the driver was to blame:
They tried looking at my video but my camera was malfunctioning. They reviewed the security footage, which evidently shows clearly that I was assaulted AFTER running from the guy and exhausting all efforts to not engage him physically. It appeared to be unanimous after they viewed the footage, which I have requested. I am sure they will be receiving a number of requests for that footage though.
However, Shimek was banned from Pierce Transit property in Tacoma because he was standing on the sidewalk in front of a transit building, waiting for a bus, when he was confronted by the man.
He was even banned from all bus stops and was told he will be placed under arrest if spotted in one.
I was served by Tacoma PD, a paper from Pierce Transit, saying I was banned for “Purposefully causing a disturbance.” That is their exact wording on the official sheet. The officer said it was initiated by Pierce Transit Supervisor Billy Williams, #613. It also references Pierce Transit Policy 1250.02, which I did not see until just now.
When asked if he was ever tempted to pull out his gun during the attack:
Once he tried gouging my eye out, he took it to another level. At that point I disengaged one last time to give him one last chance to stop his attack. If he attacked after that point, he was going to be put down with more force. The difference between a cop and me is that I believe in personal responsibility in a potentially violent situation and prefer to take a higher road, whenever possible.
Shimek, who is part of PINAC’s Newsroom, was arrested last year by King County sheriff’s deputies after stepping out his apartment to record them as they searched for a man. In May, a jury found him not guilty.