An unidentified suspect attacked a VTA driver near the Alum Rock Transit Center in San Jose on Tuesday using a bow and arrow.
Authorities said the victim was quickly transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries. Police identified the man as a 36-year-old Sikh. officials believe the turban he was wearing or his appearance or religion could have been the motive for the unprovoked assault.
Bow and Arrow Attack
Sheriff’s deputies frequently patrolled the area around the Alum Rock transit center parking lot after the VTA bus driver suffered injuries when he was attacked while on a walk during his break.
Officials recovered a black-colored arrow from the scene of the crime which they believed was used by the assailant. “He was abruptly struck in the back with an arrow, a sharp object of an arrow and that arrow did pierce his skin when it hit him,” said Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Russell Davis.
Authorities said the incident occurred on Sierra Grande Way near South Capitol Avenue, about two blocks away from the transit center. Officials said the victim was with one other driver and were both walking wearing their turbans. Investigators believe the clothing may have played a role in the attack.
“We’re using all the resources right now to see if this was actually a hate crime. We don’t have that information at this point, I will tell you this was a targeted attack,” said Davis.
The President of the bus driver’s union ATU Local 265, John Courtney, said he spoke to the victim who said he was doing well. “It could have been a lot worse than it was. It came very close to hitting his lungs, the arrow, into his back area. So he’s very thankful. Sounded like he was in OK spirits for what happened, and he’s hoping to make a full recovery,” said Courtney.
While other drivers did not share their opinions of the attack, the union said they often experienced verbal and physical assaults while working. Authorities continued to search the area and reviewed surveillance videos, CBS Local reported.
“This doesn’t happen often as we know, and we just want to make sure we can find information to catch these suspects,” Davis said. The Sheriff’s Advisory Board, the VTA, and the ATU Local 265 are each offering $1,000 in reward money to anyone who could provide helpful information that could lead to the identification and arrest of the responsible individual/s.