Tampa Bus Samaritan Speaks Out

TAMPA -- The man who stepped up to help a wounded transit bus driver in Tampa is speaking out.

John Phelps borrowed a wheeled shopping cart and ran to the front of the bus Tuesday afternoon, when police say 65-year-old James Ambrose sprayed mace and stabbed the driver. The bus was stopped at Waters Avenue and 9th Street. Ambrose tried to get on the bus, according to police, but became frustrated when either the fare machine malfunctioned or he didn't have enough money.

"I didn't know what to do but react," Phelps said.

Phelps shoved the cart between Ambrose and the driver, blocking the attack. Police say Ambrose took off. Phelps then attended to the driver. The military veteran urges others to step up in similar situations.

Phelps says he's ridden that bus route for four years, and seen people abuse both drivers and passengers. Once, he says, a man threatened him with a pit bull while yelling racial slurs.

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