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The RTA bus driver at the center of a beating caught on tape speaks out.

Artis Hughes walked out of Beachwood City Hall Monday after turning himself in.  He’s charged with assault on a female passenger.  Hughes says, “I’m hoping to get my job back. I’m praying to get my job back. That’s it, I’m praying to get my job back.”

RTA suspended Hughes not long after video of him punching passenger Shidea Lane went viral. Lane faces disorderly conduct charges for harassing and spiting on the bus driver before he snapped.

Hughes told dozens of his supporters who cheered as he walked out of the building what happened to him wasn’t right.  ” Do your job. Do your job, and that’s all I tried to do.”

Other bus drivers who came to his defense say they want RTA to protect them from unruly passengers. Driver Linda Crockett-Woods tells us she had her front teeth knocked out by a passenger several years ago, and even had a gun pulled on her.  “All of us in one way or another. We’ve all been there and we’re not going to take this.”

Hughes is due in court next month. If found guilty he could get up to 6-months in jail. His supporters have set up a petition online.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News