PSTA bus driver punched in face over $2.25 fare

- A longtime PSTA bus driver was punched in the face by a passenger in St. Petersburg last Friday. PSTA says it was apparently all over $2.25. 

The attacker tried getting on the bus using an expired student ID card, which would've made the ride free, but when driver Michael Ralston asked for the full fare, he was punched.

"He's doing good. He had to get a few stiches, but he's taking time off now to get better," said PSTA spokesperson Ashlie Handy.

Officials say this is a rare instance.  Ralston is a longtime PSTA employee. 

"The bus operator has been here at PSTA for 30 years. He has a 27-year safe driving record which is unbelievable," Handy said.

The guy who hit him ran off, and now St. Petersburg police are trying to find him. 

"That's uncouth," said daily bus rider Doris Wiggs, who says his punishment should go beyond jail time.  "He deserves somebody to punch him. So if he gets locked up, he'll get what he deserves."

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