Youths target San Francisco Muni drivers in attacks 

Two Muni drivers were injured and four buses sustained a combined $1,000 in damage in the Bayview on Sunday after a gang of rowdy pranksters as young as 9 years old attacked them with bottles, wooden blocks and other objects.

The youths, who witnesses said ranged in age from 9 to 13, pelted an operator in the face with a basketball and struck another with thick wire during the morning attacks, police Officer Albie Esparza said Tuesday.

The drivers were not seriously injured and both were back on the job Monday, said Debra Johnson, interim executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni. Esparza said the attacks were in no way related to the unrest in the Bayview last weekend following the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man by police Saturday.

The operators were attempting to pick up Muni passengers at Santos Street and Brookdale Avenue when an array of objects came flying their way, Johnson said.

The youths were hurling the objects through the open bus doors, Johnson said.

The operator struck with a basketball was attacked about 10:25 a.m. He was carrying 40 passengers on an 8X-Bayshore Express bus at the time. No passengers were hurt, Johnson said.

The other operator was attacked about 20 minutes earlier. He was driving three passengers on his 9-San Bruno bus, none of whom were harmed.

Two other vehicles sustained damage from objects thrown by the youths, Johnson said.

Windows on four buses were broken during the attacks. All the vehicles were repaired and back in service by Monday, Johnson said.

Esparza said Tuesday no one involved in the Muni attacks has been taken into custody. He said police are still investigating the incident.

Attacks on Muni drivers have been on the rise this year. Through April, there were 35 assault cases against transit operators. That averages out to about one every 3½ days.

Examiner Staff Writer Mike Aldax contributed to this report.

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