As justice is being sought regarding a Metrobus assault in Washington, D.C. last week, many questions are still being asked.
The victim, 42-year-old Kyla Thurston, is now speaking out about the harrowing and traumatic experience.
On her way to pick up her diabetes medication, Thurston was violently beaten and dragged off a Metrobus after asking a group of teenagers to stop using vulgar language and getting objects thrown at her in response.
The incident happened on Oct. 17 at around 4 p.m.
No one on the bus helped Thurston as the attack on her ensued, and according to The Washington Post, the bus driver “didn’t follow safety protocols.“
“They started physically assaulting me — as I’m telling the bus driver ‘Let me off, let me off, let me off. Open the door, open the door,'” Thurston told Fox 5. “Like you got kids going to school but, the parents should be held responsible for actions like this.”
“Watching the video myself, personally, it kind of startled me. And I’m still startled about it,” the victim shared. “And my family was even concerned about it. Like I said, I didn’t want to come forth at first. But I don’t fear nobody but the Lord.”
Thurston’s attack comes as cases of aggravated assaults, larcenies and robberies rose in September compared to that month last year in the nation’s capital.
27-year-old Emoni Hubbard of Southeast D.C. and 35-year-old Terry Barnes of Wilson, North Carolina are two suspects police arrested on Oct. 21 in connection to the Metrobus assault incident.
The two adults are “among eight individuals believed to have taken part in the attack, including the juveniles,” according to Fox 5.
Barnes, surprised by his arrest, alleged in an interview with ABC 7 News that he was attempting to protect Thurston.
“I got up. [The teenagers hitting Thurston] saw me coming. They backed up a little bit. I grabbed the lady from underneath her arms, and just politely [told] her, ‘Just get off the bus.’ Because I didn’t want things to escalate,” Barnes explained.
Court documents reportedly back up the suspect’s claim — although the documentation outlines he allegedly pushed her out of the bus.
“I’m not sure [what she thought I was doing] because I don’t know what her mindset was at,” said Barnes, who faces an assault charge. “Yes, I would have handled the situation differently. But honestly speaking, I don’t see any difference in that situation, because I helped the situation. When [the teenagers] saw me coming, they stepped back.”
Metro General Manager/CEO Randy Clarke has also issued a statement in response to the incident in recent days.
“I appreciate the quick work of MTPD in arresting the two adults involved in this reprehensible and unacceptable act on a Metrobus earlier this week,” said Clarke. “I personally called the victim to apologize for what happened. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated on Metro or anywhere. We need the help of partners, guardians, parents, schools and community leaders to prevent this type of behavior.”