Bus driver calls police, orders woman who ate candy bar off bus

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A city bus driver called police after he told a woman to stop eating a candy bar, but instead she popped two more bites into her mouth and then refused to get off the bus.

The bus driver, whose name was not released, was described by his supervisor as being a ''by-the-book'' kind of guy.

Jamila Glauber said she didn't get off the bus when ordered to by the driver because she had to go pick her son up at elementary school. She said she rides the bus from the University of Alaska Southeast campus to Harborview Elementary School every school day.

Glauber said she caught the 3 p.m. bus near the university on Friday. She showed the driver her bus pass and took a seat. She said she had a run-in with the driver previously when she forgot her bus pass and the driver would not allow her to ride.

This time, Glauber sat near the front of the bus, near enough to see the bus driver and be seen by him. She said she removed a bite-size Snickers from her bag, unwrapped it and took a bite.

The bus driver told Glauber that eating food was prohibited on the bus. There was only a little left.

''I ate it,'' Glauber said. ''It was only two bites... It wasn't like I was eating a sandwich or something. I didn't know candy is food.''

The driver stopped the bus near the campus and told Glauber to get off. When she refused, he drove on. At Glacier Highway and Back Loop Road, he stopped, opened the door and again asked her to leave.

''I was totally shocked,'' Glauber said. ''I've been riding the bus for a year. There is nothing on the bus that said you could not eat food except in the code of conduct. It is not posted anywhere. What, are we supposed to read minds now? He kept saying things to me after the candy was already gone. He was clearly trying to provoke me, and I just kept my mouth shut because I had to get to my son.''

Ted Wieting, a supervisor at Capital Transit, said rules are posted on every bus.

''She was mumbling things under her breath,'' Wieting said. ''He couldn't hear what she was saying, but he knew her intent. She wasn't compliant with the rules of the bus, she was being discourteous and trying to push his buttons, which is a reason to be asked to leave the bus.''

Police Sgt. Kevin Siska said officers met the bus at Nugget Mall and asked the driver to allow Glauber to continue to her destination.

Police are called to buses about four times a year to cite or remove passengers who are unruly, intoxicated, under the influence of other drugs or mentally ill. To his knowledge, Police Sgt. Ben Coronell said police have never been called to remove someone eating on a bus.

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