SPOKANE  (AP) — Assaults and threats against Spokane Transit Authority drivers appear to be on the rise, and that has drivers concerned.

Drivers' union president Thomas Leighty says that just since December there have been seven incidents involving drivers.

The Spokesman-Review reports that not all have been violence-related incidents, but drivers have reported multiple cases of verbal abuse, spitting and threats.

The most serious happened in early March, when a passenger punched an STA driver.

That man was arrested and banned from all STA buses for a year. He is in the Spokane County Jail awaiting trial.

Shortly after that incident, the STA started a review of all assaults over the past five years. Once the review of assault incidents is over, decisions will be made about what changes to make.

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