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Driver who punched McGruff returns

Shawn Brim, the Metro employee who punched an off-duty police officer dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog, is back on the job as a bus operator, Metro said.

Metro spokeswoman tyson.gifLisa Farbstein said she received notice today that Brim was back on the job. On Feb. 28, 2009 Brim pulled his bus over near Spring Road and 14th Street NW, disembarked and punched in the head an off-duty police officer dressed as McGruff, who educates children about crime prevention.

Metro fired Brim on March 6, 2009. "We . . . terminated him for violating workplace rules," Farbstein said earlier this month. Brim was found guilty of simple assault in D.C. Superior Court and received a 15-day suspended sentence and six months of probation.

An arbitrator recently decided that Brim's actions, although illegal and inappropriate, were not undertaken with malicious intent. The arbitrator reduced Brim's penalty to a 30-day suspension and awarded him back pay for the rest of the time.

Metro officials had objected to the reinstatement. Farbstein said in an earlier interview that he "exercised extremely poor judgment," and should not return to work regardless of whether he can drive a bus safely.

Metro said Brim underwent retraining before reporting to duty.

-- Ann Scott Tyson

This post was updated. 5:10 p.m.

By Michael Bolden  | June 17, 2010; 4:54 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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He broke the law while he was driving a bus! What's there to talk about?

Oh, there's some poor judgment here, and not just on the bus driver's part.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 17, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

How are his actions without "malicious intent"? He got off the bus and punched someone...that's a pretty damn clear cut case of malicious intent! I don't care whether the person he punched was an off-duty police officer or not.

After numerous incidents like this over the past year I've come to the conclusion that while money is a problem for metro it's employees are just as much of a problem if not more so. Sure there are some good ones in there but most of them have no respect whatsoever for the riding public. We don't expect to be coddled but we do expect a safe and efficient commute.

Posted by: Razor04 | June 17, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

This is why metro is in the shape they are in today. If I did that at any job I've ever had I'd not be back for any reason. He should stay fired and if Metro had any guts they'd find a way to make that happen.

Posted by: skipfrmdc | June 17, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

WaPo: Find out the bus route and bus number he drives and PUBLICIZE it so commuters can avoid him. He's not fit to be behind a steering wheel....and how about including picture of him so we know what this scum looks like?

Posted by: B-rod | June 17, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow! hope he never hit me for not having the right fare.

Posted by: drfields | June 17, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Big deal. The guy is probably a good driver. If he ran over a jogger, I would be concerned. Horsing around with McGruff, not so much. People deserve a chance to redeem themselves. Or would you rather he go on welfare for the rest of his life for one lapse in judgment?

Posted by: PepperDr | June 17, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I would like to take all the Crimedog McGruffs costumes and put them in a pile, then light it on fire.

Posted by: kenk3 | June 18, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

if the fool bus driver so much as looks at me wrong, he is going to have real, real trouble on his hands.

Posted by: OldSalt8 | June 18, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I would second B-rod's comment. Please also run this thugs picture. Metro said it was going thru a "culture change"... with decisions like this they willl soon have no ridership!!

Posted by: lsf07 | June 18, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Metro Opens Doors..... And Will Punch You In The Face

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 18, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The problem isn't with Metro, it's with Metro's Board of Directors. There's no way an arbitrator who isn't firmly in the pocket of the Washington Transportation Union allows this to happen. There's nothing Metro's leadership can do, if every time they try to fire someone, the arbitrator overrules them.

So the question is, who hired this arbitrator and how can the arbitration firm be removed. I can guarantee that you don't change the arbitrator until you change the culture of the DC City Council.

Posted by: FormerMCPSStudent | June 18, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

When boarding a Metro Bus if you se the name tag 'Shawn Brim' simply get off and wait for another bus. While waiting call Metro and tell them why you did that. Wont be long before Shawn Brim cant collect enough passengers to cover his salary.

Posted by: busdriver420 | June 18, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Don't wear a stuffed dogs head when you get on his bus.

Posted by: jckdoors | June 18, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Where's Underdog when we need him? Maybe the Goracle can get out his Underdog Halloween costume now that he's been dumped by the Tipper for acting like the Riddler and playing liar's poker too much.

Posted by: Calabrese99 | June 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

WaPo: Find out the bus route and bus number he drives and PUBLICIZE it so commuters can avoid him. He's not fit to be behind a steering wheel....and how about including picture of him so we know what this scum looks like?

Posted by: B-rod | June 17, 2010 8:09 PM |
By the same token, since 1996, RideOn transit has allowed a CONVICTED Child Molester to operate its buses (currently out of the Gaithersburg garage).

I guess its ok, to punch out crime dogs, run over pedrestrians, molest children & still operate a vehicle transporting the general public.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | June 18, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

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