Security officers on city buses sparse

ABQ Ride green bus downtown
ABQ Ride green bus downtown (Carey Olson KRQE)

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police are searching for a man caught on a city bus camera stabbing another man. This isn’t the first time bus security cameras have captured a violent attack before.

An ABQ RIDE spokesman told KRQE News 13 there are security guards on some bus routes, but, just like police, they can’t be everywhere at once.

The most recent fight started with words between an ex and her new boyfriend on a city bus, at a stop along Central two weeks ago. Punches were thrown, then police said a man pulled a knife, stabbing the other man multiple times.

“We have security where we can put them on some of the more heavily traveled routes, but I think that they can’t be at all places at all times,” explained Rick DeReyes, spokesman for ABQ RIDE.

It isn’t the only attack on a bus route along Central. Last year, Officer Charles Chavez took a stun gun to his face, while searching for a robbery suspect on the bus.

Drivers have had run-ins with angry passengers through the years.

“Central Avenue has about 42 percent of our rider-ship, so it’s the most heavily traveled route in Albuquerque,” DeReyes explained.

DeReyes said there are 21 full time security officers, and 157 fixed bus routes. Additionally, ABQ RIDE has contract security on selected, ever-changing buses routes from the moment service starts, about 5-5:30 a.m. until the final route is over.

This security service also patrols at the Alvarado Transportation Center and at its different Park and Rides.

DeReyes also pointed out all the cameras on buses offer additional security.

“We for now can reach an equilibrium where we have the cameras as a deterrent, and also in a way to help police find whoever decides to do wrong-doing,” said DeReyes.

Security officers on buses can’t carry guns, but they are trained to deal with problems.

In this case, the stabbing suspect got away. Police said the victim was taken to the hospital with multiple stab wounds and critically injured.

Despite the suspect’s plea to the bus driver to leave the scene, DeReyes said the driver did the right thing by staying put, to wait for police.

“Incidents can happen, but incidents happen anywhere,” explained DeReyes. He said ABQ RIDE has security patrols on buses, and security officers are always in uniform. DeReyes added violent encounters such as the stabbing are still rare.

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