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Song Sushumna Landis, 24, allegedly punched driver who refused him free transportation.

CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE BOOKING PHOTO - Song Sushumna Landis.A 24-year-old transient faces an assault charge after punching a TriMet bus driver in the face after the driver refused to give him a free ride Tuesday morning, Tualatin Police said.

According to TriMet and Tualatin Police, Song Sushumna Landis was found sleeping in a bus shelter at the intersection of Southwest 65th Avenue and Borland Road in east Tualatin by the driver, whose name has not been released. The driver asked him to leave, they said.

"The Line 76 operator was on a break at Legacy Meridian Park Hospital and when the operator returned a few minutes later, the man wanted to ride for free," Roberta Altstadt, a TriMet spokeswoman, told The Times in an email. "The operator stated that wasn’t possible, and the suspect then assaulted the operator."

Landis struck the driver in the eye, knocking him to the ground, and fled the scene, said police. He was found a few blocks later and arrested at about 6:18 a.m., said Tualatin Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Massey.

Landis was lodged in the Clackamas County Jail. He faces charges of third-degree assault, which is a felony, and interfering with public transportation, a misdemeanor crime. He has also been excluded from all TriMet property.

"TriMet takes the issue of any operator assault very seriously, and we prosecute to the full extent of law anyone who assaults one of our employees," Altstadt told The Times.

She concluded, "We appreciate the work of the Tualatin Police Department in quickly arresting the suspect."

The driver had a cut over his eye following the attack, said Massey. Altstadt said he "received treatment for minor injuries."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information from a TriMet spokeswoman.

By Mark Miller
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