Metro bus driver stabbed in Venice, suspect arrested

A Metro bus driver was stabbed in the back in Venice Thursday, and a suspect believed to be homeless was taken into custody. A good Samaritan helped take down the attacker before he was arrested.

The stabbing occurred on a Route 33 bus on Thursday afternoon along Windward Circle.

"A homeless guy punched him and once the bus driver turned around from the punch, the homeless guy got a knife, a big dagger, and just stabbed him right in the middle of the back out nowhere," a witness told FOX 11. He's a security guard at a cannabis shop across the street from the bus stop.

The witness told FOX 11 he jumped in to help stop the attacker.

"The homeless guy was trying to get away so I caught him around the corner, and that's when I started to pepper spray him and stuff," he said. "As soon as I encountered him he tried to attack me with the same knife."

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the bus driver, identified as a man in his twenties, was working on the bus' handicap ramp when he was attacked, unprovoked. The suspect, later identified as 60-year-old Mark Charbonneaux, approached the driver from behind and stabbed him in the back. 

The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. A four-inch folding knife was recovered at the scene. 

Charbonneaux was also taken to the hospital for medical issues not related to the stabbing, police said. He was later booked for assault with a deadly weapon.

RELATED: Metro to develop plan for in-house safety department

Metro issued a statement saying the transit agency "is angered and saddened to hear about this heinous act of violence and is providing support to our employee and his loved ones. We will work closely with the LAPD to investigate this incident and are grateful for their swift action in arresting the suspect."

Anyone with information was asked to contact the LAPD at 877-LAPD 24-7.

This stabbing comes on the same day that the Metro Board of Supervisors approved a motion calling for development of an implementation plan for an in-house public safety department, with the goal of presenting the plan to the transit agency board in January 2024.

City News Service contributed to this report.