Taxi driver claims assault from passenger with fondness for pens, history of violence

By John Suayan | Mar 10, 2017

HOUSTON – Greater Houston Transportation Co. faces a lawsuit from a driver who alleges that a passenger with a penchant for taking pens assaulted her during a trip more than a year ago.

In court papers filed Mar. 7 in the Harris County 270th District Court, Claudra Hubbard claims the rider, Garland Armstrong, grabbed her pens and used one in an attempt to stab her on Sept. 14, 2015.

Hubbard was driving Armstrong to an unspecified destination in Houston as part of the MetroLift program prior to the subject event. Upon reaching Armstrong’s destination, the plaintiff exited the vehicle to help the former disembark.

Per the suit, Armstrong lunged to the front of the vehicle and grabbed Hubbard’s GPS device and a number of pens. The complainant requested the passenger to return the items to no avail as he returned the device but not the pens.

“When Ms. Hubbard again asked the passenger to return her pens, he violently attacked her,” the original petition says. “Specifically, the passenger attempted to stab Ms. Hubbard with a pen, and proceeded to chase her down the street and knock her to the ground, causing her head to violently slam onto the pavement.”

Hubbard adds that she sustained injuries to her head, ear, hand, and knee.

The complaint further asserts that Armstrong, who is not a party in the litigation, was a regular client of the defendant who possesses a history of attacking its drivers the same way he did Hubbard.

Greater Houston knew of Armstrong’s outbursts, but took no action to address them, the suit says.

Consequently, Hubbard seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by attorneys Ryan H. Zehl and Matt L. Martin of the law firm Zehl & Associates, PC in Houston.

Harris County 270th District Court Case No. 2017-15789

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