DETROIT (WXYZ) — Multicultural Academy’s bus #1 was half way through the drop off route on Friday, Jan. 25.
On board were first and third grade siblings, a fourth and a fifth grader and seventh grade students from the Ann Arbor charter school.
The bus driver, 65-year-old Rebhi Mohammad, knew the route well. He’d been on it for two years, after serving two years driving buses for Hamtramck schools.
Mohammad slowed the bus to a stop in the area of Ansbury Park and Diversy on Detroit’s west side to let off some students. As he opened the doors, two hostile men came on the bus, and started assaulting Mohammad.
“The minute they walked in they started hitting me,” Mohammad said.
A video of the altercation shows the third grade sibling grab her first grade sister and pull her back toward the back of the bus as the assault began.
Mohammad says he was hit in the cheeks, ears, and head.
“They told me first that I did hit that car mirror,” Mohammad said. “I said ok did you call the police?”
Mohammad believes the men were retaliating from his bus accidentally swiping a mirror, unbeknownst to him.
After the men left, the children came to check on their driver.
“Some of them, they were crying. ‘Are you OK? are you OK?’ I said ‘Yes I’m OK, just be patient. We’ll see how we’re going to get you home safe you know,’” said Mohammad, who would stay at the hospital for nine hours to be treated for his injuries.
By Tuesday, Mohammad was back to work, volunteering at the school between pick up and drop off to help children with their English and math skills, but some of his coworkers say his spirit has been shaken.
A teacher at the school reached out to Muslims of the World. They created a GoFundMe page in Mohammad’s honor.
Mohammad says he hopes the men are found and put behind bars.
“Why did you do that? Where is your manners. I didn't meet you before you know and you do this to me. Why?”