COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus police have arrested and charged a man with assaulting a COTA bus driver this week.
A warrant for the arrest of Royce Stefan Nall, 34, was served Saturday after police circulated COTA surveillance footage showing a man standing in a bus aisle.
Court documents show that Nall has been charged with robbery with attempt to inflict or threaten serious physical harm on another.
According to police, a COTA dispatcher noticed a bus at the intersection of Thimbleberry Road and Alum Creek Drive had not moved in a while, so the dispatcher contacted officials to check on the bus.
Police said that is when they found the 68-year old COTA driver with injuries to his face. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.
The victim was allegedly punched repeatedly in the face, head, and body while Nall allegedly took the driver’s wallet and demanded money.
“It’s just heartbreaking that it happened to him,” said Anna Young, who lives in the area. Whenever she has seen the driver, he was smiling. “One of the residents said she would go up there on Fridays with her kids waiting for their dad and the driver would always giver her kids candy and was just really nice.”
Police shared surveillance images of Nall on social media Friday and said that within hours, they had an identification.
COTA CEO Joanna Pinkerton released a statement Sunday thanking police.
“I want to thank the Columbus Division of Police for quickly identifying and taking a suspect into custody. We are also grateful to those whose tips led to this arrest. COTA will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served. At this time, our priority and focus remain on our valued team member’s health and recovery.”COTA CEO Joanna Pinkerton
“It’s heartbreaking that it happens to anybody, but somebody who’s 68-years-old, that’s just wrong,” Young said.
Neighbors want to see justice served in the case and are looking forward to when their familiar bus driver is back.
“I’m just praying he gets well fast and back on the job,” Young said.
Nall is set to be arraigned on Tuesday at 9 a.m.