FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – It seemed like any other bus ride, filled with noisy passengers, that’s until the bus pulled up to the stop at the 1500 block of West Sunrise.
Four teens get off, then one steps back on as the driver screams for him to stay away.
Surveillance video shows as the victim — Tyreek Westby — is dragged off the bus and onto the sidewalk while the door slams closed behind him. Immediately, four teens began to punch and kick him.
Moments later you see the 17-year-old victim break free and run away, only to be caught, body slammed to the ground, and kicked and punched by the violent mob of teens again. Finally, the attackers run off with his iPod and ear buds, leaving the victim dazed.
Westby spoke to CBS 4 News in an exclusive interview Tuesday night. He didn’t want to speak specifically about the attack. He prefers to focus on the positive.
“I’m just a happy person over all,” he told CBs 4’s Carey Codd. “You gotta go through it and you gotta rise above. That’s why you see me, I’m smiling. That can’t bring me down.”
Tyreek’s mother, Tessa, said her son did not know the boys who beat him.
“I don’t know if those individuals realize what they have done to my son and the way they have changed my son’s life,” she said. “It was just very brutal and very senseless and there was no reason for that.”
Tyreek suffered a broken nose and other serious injuries. His mother says Tyreek still has trouble with fainting spells and is expected to undergo a brain scan.
After the beating, the surveillance video shows Westby getting up as the bus starts to pull ahead to the stop light.
“Don’t leave him!” yelled passengers.
The bus stopped for a red light, but then you see people on the bus kicked the rear door.
“The patrons on the buys were kicking the door,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Detective DeAnna Garcia, “trying to open it for our juvenile victim so he too could get back on the bus to prevent him from getting, being struck more by the suspects.”
Finally, the bus pulls off, as the injured teen ran along side it, banging on the door trying to get in.
Tessa Westby says the bus driver should have done more to help.
“My outrage is also at the bus driver,” she said. “She did absolutely nothing. I don’t expect for her to put herself in harm’s way but I expected for her to really intervene — call backup.”
However, police said the bus driver had a difficult decision to make.
“It puts the bus driver in a very difficult situation,” said Det. Garcia, “protect all the passengers that are on the bus and keep moving; or does he or she open the door and allow this victim to get back on the bus and then you’re also risking the chance of the suspects who were involved in the altercation getting back on the bus with him and then you have a contained altercation inside a bus harming possibly more victims.”
So far, one teen has been arrested, charged with strong armed robbery and aggravated battery causing bodily harm.