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Bus Driver Punches McGruff, Gets Job Back

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By David Schultz

Shawn Brim was driving his bus in D.C. early last year when, all of a sudden, he stopped, got out, and socked a police officer in the McGruff the Crime Dog costume. Brim told the officers who arrested him he was "just playing."

"While the bus operator thought it was funny at first, certainly nobody at the transit agency thought it was funny," says Metro spokesperson Steve Taubenkibel.

Taubenkibel says Brim was immediately fired. But last week, an arbitrator reinstated him after an appeal from Metro's union.

"The arbitrator reduced the termination to a 30-day unpaid suspension and determined that the operator involved in punching the mascot should get his job back," says Taubenkibel.

He says Brim will be back behind the wheel of a bus within a few weeks. That news elicited mixed emotions from bus riders.

"They gave him a second chance," says Calvin Lamb, as he waits for a bus in northwest D.C, "so he'll probably do the right thing this time."

Representatives from Metro's union are refusing to talk about Brim's case.

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