D.C. woman who threw urine at Metro bus driver gets 120 days in jail

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The woman accused of throwing her own urine at a Metro bus driver was sentenced in Superior Court today.

A judge sentenced Opal Brown to 180 days in jail with all but 120 of those days suspended.

She will get credit for the jail time she already served and will be placed under three years probation once she is released.

During that probationary period, she will be banned from riding the X2 bus line.

Brown spoke during the sentencing on Thursday and said that the driver had no harm done because her name was not released to the media.

The judge said she "wished she had more time to give her" and said to Brown that she "just didn't get it."

Back in August, police say bus cameras recorded the 38-year-old standing up in front of the bus when she opened a cup and waited for the bus to stop.

As Brown was leaving, police say the driver told her to have a nice day and she responded by asking “are you talking to me” and then tossed urine at the driver’s head.

Her pastor attended the sentencing and said that they continue to pray for her and counsel her.

"We want to apologize to the metro operators, people who are serving in public capacity and should not have to endure anything of this nature," says Robert Clemetson.

Members of the union representing transit workers, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, packed the courtroom.

"It’s a no-win situation," says First Vice President Carroll Thomas. "Miss Brown has children, she’s a human being, she did something that was not right, we have to continue to pray for her as well."

Union members gasped when Brown spoke about the driver.

"It pinched the heart of the operators who do this on a daily basis, who day after day deal with assaults, verbal abuse, all kinds of stuff, they deal with a lot and it really bothered them," he says.

Thomas says they were pleased with the sentence but want to push for laws to change so that assaults on bus drivers can be considered felonies.

A spokesman for WMATA, Dan Stessel, said they reached out to local lawmakers about the issue.

He also applauded the recent efforts made by D.C. City Council to introduce legislation that would require a mandatory 90-day jail sentence for assaults.

"We want to emphasize this is an issue that we and the union are in lockstep on, no one should be assaulted simply for doing their job," he says. "We recognize that bus operators have one of the toughest jobs in this city and we’re taking steps to protect them."

Since the incident, the union also questioned the effectiveness of the plexiglass shields since the driver was still hit with the urine.

Stessel says they have a task force working on the design of those shields.

Currently, about 1/3 of the buses have shields and WMATA expects the remaining buses to have them within the next two years.