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After telling passenger about mask requirement, passenger hits Valley bus driver in the face

Valley Metro requires face coverings on public transit.

PHOENIX — A Valley bus driver says she was hit in the face by a passenger after she told the passenger face coverings were required on the bus. 

She's just one essential worker who's asking the public to do follow the mask requirements. 

Cassandra Forsberg, a Valley bus driver, says when she picked up a passenger on Tuesday, and they didn't have a mask she reminded her of the requirement. 

"She asked why are you the only bus driver that saying anything about face masks? And I just explain to her it says on the front of the bus as I pull up a face mask is required," Forsberg said.

As the bus route went on, Forsberg said the woman kept talking to her about the mask issue, even coming up underneath a plexiglass barrier put up to keep distance between passengers and the driver. 

Eventually, Forsberg said she asked the woman to get off the bus. However, when she wouldn't go, Forsberg called for backup. 

Forsberg said that's when the woman came back underneath the plexiglass and hit her. 

"Her hand literally came around three times," Forsberg said. "Bam, bam, right to the face." 

Forsberg ended up with a broken nose from the incident. 

"I was bleeding out both of my nostrils," Forsberg said. 

It's the latest in a series of incidents seen surrounding mask requirements. 

A viral video taken at a Costco showed an employee asking a member to wear put on a face covering, as required by the store, but the man refused. 

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office said a man was arrested after he was told to put on a mask at a local yogurt shop. He refused and was escorted out by an employee, and later came back with a gun. 

Two others were arrested by Yuma Police earlier this week after they refused to put on a mask in a Walmart there and started coughing on employees. 

Valley Metro tells 12 News while face coverings are required on buses, light rail, and paratransit, drivers "are not in a position to enforce this requirement." 

"It's required. You know? It's for everybody's safety as well as theirs," Forsberg said. 

Forsberg is just asking those who use public transportation to follow the rules. 

"A lot of us bus drivers are actually becoming positive with the virus, you know because we transport these people around on a daily basis," Forsberg said. 

Transdev, one of the private companies who contract public transpiration in the Valley said 1 of their drivers has died of COVID-19, and 20 out of their roughly 1,000 drivers have tested positive. 

The company said they're investigating this incident. 

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