KSTP spent three years waiting on a public information request to be fulfilled by Metro Transit.
And once it got that footage, the station was going to use it, dammit!
Even if the clip doesn't show much more than the childish behavior of one bad (and possibly kind of drunk) bicyclist and one passive aggressive bus driver.
The incident in this video occurred at 8:00 a.m. on a Friday in September 2013, as 51-year-old Rudolph Francis drives a metro bus down Hennepin Avenue.
Francis hits the vehicle's horn, honking at a bicyclist, 26-year-old John Rodriguez, who rides down the middle of the right lane of the street. Rodriguez flips Francis off.
At the next stop, Rodriguez confronts the bus driver, shouting through the open doors: "What's your fucking problem, dude?" he asks.
Then Rodriguez decides to diagnose the driver himself: "Fuck you, you piece of shit."
As Francis goes to park the bus for its next and final stop, Rodriguez is still there. Now, freed of his passengers, the driver's ready to engage. "Come on! Come on and get some!" he says. "I'm right here."
KSTP reports this smack-talking between the two men goes on for four minutes, which, mercifully, is spared the viewer of its edited clip.
"What are you gonna do man?" the driver asks.
"I'd like to beat your ass and kick the shit out of you," the cyclist says.
(Editor's note: Are those different? Please explain.)
It's Francis who finally makes it physical: Waiting for the moment the cyclist turns his back to pick up his bike, the driver tackles him to the ground.
Somehow this still doesn't start the fistfight that had been brewing for minutes. Cops arrived soon, and a witness said neither man was throwing punches during their scuffle.
To make a short story that's already too long a little shorter, Francis was out of his job with Metro Transit within a month of this incident, though he wasn't disciplined by the agency, and Rodriguez declined to file charges.
After refusing for three years, Met Transit finally released the tape, in accordance with a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling this summer, finding that tapes are subject to public records request unless the tape is being held only for "employment" reasons.
And now, KSTP has released it to the public, and we can all learn a few lessons. Well, two lessons: These guys are both assholes; anyway, they both acted like it one fall day back in 2013.
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