Rider says driver cussed and broke his cell phone, TriMet says it cannot provide details while investigation is underway

FACEBOOK - An image posted on Josh Powell's Facebook page.TriMet is conducting an internal investigation of a driver accused of using obscene language, gestures and aggressive behavior against a rider in Estacada earlier this week.

TriMet declined to identify the driver to the Portland Tribune, citing the internal nature of the investigation. TriMet said the rider was not physcially injured.

The rider, who identified himself as Josh Powell, did not immediately file a complaint, but first posted about the incident on Facebook. He said it happened on Aug. 29, when he got off the Line 30 bus from Clackamas Town Center to Estacada City Hall. According to the post, the driver cussed when Powell asked the driver to open the back door so he could get off, raised his fist at him, then broke Powell's cell phone when he started to take pictures.

The Portland Tribune has been unable to contact Powell for comment.

TriMet issued the following statement about the incident:

"We were made aware of this Wednesday morning and immediately launched an internal investigation. We have reached out to the gentleman who posted the complaint on Facebook and have helped him file an official report to further our investigation. As this is an active investigation we will not comment further on this incident.

"Reports like these are alarming. The behavior this rider described is unacceptable by all TriMet standards. All of our employees are trained to comport themselves with professionalism and with our customers in mind. We absolutely do not condone aggressive behavior or the destruction of property."

Amalgamated Transit Union 757, which represents TriMet drivers, sent out a Tweet about the incident Friday. It did not identify the parties or detail what allegedly happened, but said that the drivers it represents in numerous transit districts are under stress these days.

This story will be updated when more information is available.

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