COTA Investigating Why Gay Passenger Was Kicked Off Bus
The Central Ohio Transit Authority says it’s investigating a June 2nd incident on a COTA bus in which man says he was apparently kicked off a bus because he's gay. The passenger, who says he was wearing eye liner at the time of the incident, says he was told he would have to leave the bus because of his behavior.
Security camera footage recorded the verbal exchange between the unidentified bus driver and passenger Ben Purdom. Purdom says he was on his way to work when the incident occurred.
“I got on the bus, minding my own business and was texting and looking around when all of a sudden the bus driver turns around and looks back and says, ‘I see what you’re doing back there, the next time you do it again I’m going to kick you off the bus and make you take the next one,’” Purdom says.
The video appears to back up Purdom’s account. It shows the driver telling Purdom, who appears to be the only person on the bus, “I’m not going to accept you being on the bus and assault me. And then sit there like you’re doing nothing, but my body knows you’re doing something.”
A Columbus police officer and a COTA supervisor arrived. The supervisor, Purdom says, drove him to his destination.
Purdom says the unidentified driver should lose her job.
An emailed statement from COTA says: "COTA policy strictly prohibits all discrimination, including that based upon sexual orientation, and we take seriously any such allegation. At this time, we are reviewing all available information so that we can have a full understanding of this incident. Once we have the facts, we will share information with the public, and we will take appropriate action."