By Oren Liebermann
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Every movement hurts Ira Tucker, but the SEPTA bus driver knew he had to be in court Friday morning to face the teenagers accused of beating him.
All three were found guilty.
“We definitely got what we wanted,” said Toni Tucker, Ira’s mother.
Tucker was driving the Route 52 bus on March 17th when the teenagers hit him, then dragged him out of the bus and attacked him on the sidewalk. Two of the teenagers were 17 years old, and the other was 16.
Tucker–who suffered fractures to his face, a broken nose and other injuries–cried in court as he remembered what happened to him. In his words, all he did that day was go to work. Ira’s mother spoke for him.
“Today is a victory. It really is, and that’s all we can do,” said Toni Tucker. “One day at a time. Ira’s recovery is slow, but it’s going to be sure.”
Tucker is scared of riding a bus now. The attack hit him both physically and mentally.
“My son, he still has a long way to go in his recovery,” said Tucker.
But Ira Tucker isn’t the only SEPTA driver to be attacked recently. SEPTA officials say their drivers are being attacked more frequently and more severely.
“We don’t know why it’s happening, but it’s got to stop,” said Jerri Williams, SEPTA spokeswoman.
SEPTA says there have been 23 assaults on drivers since the beginning of the year, which is more than one attack a week. Four of those attacks have led to arrests.
“I just can’t believe that somebody is going to get on a bus and start an argument or a fight with an operator who is just trying to get the public to their jobs,” said Williams.
The three teenagers involved in Ira’s case were convicted of aggravated assault, simple assault, conspiracy, and other charges.