Nashville teen with autism assaulted at WeGo bus stop

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Jackson Darden relies on public transit with a WeGo bus taking him home from school daily. 

But an attack on Tuesday has shaken his mother’s faith in MTA. 

“I wanna find this guy,” said Cham Lansford, Jackson’s mom. “I wanna know who hurt my kid.”

The issues started shortly after Jackson got on the bus. 

“I was in front of this guy, I think he got mad,” said Jackson. He’d later explain that after getting on the bus, the stranger “Got in my face, real close to me and asked me where I was getting off.”

Though he declined to tell him his stop, the unknown teen followed Jackson off the bus just outside Tailgate Brewery in East Nashville. 

“Got really close to me, up in my face, yelling say you’re sorry, say you’re sorry, over and over again,” said Jackson. “I said something like, can we not do this here? I just want to go home and he just punched me in the face.”

The assault didn’t end there. 

As Jackson reached for his glasses, the attacker was quicker, smashing the glasses with his foot before fleeing. Jackson would walk home. 

“I saw him come around the house, his glasses weren’t on,” said Cham. “I asked him what happened, then I saw the mark on his face.”

For Cham, the concern is two-fold. She’s worried about how her son will process this attack and worried about budget cuts to public buses. 

She tells News 2 fewer routes lead to overcrowded buses, which lead to tense situations. 

“A lot of people have reported to me over messages that the bus was overcrowded,” noted Cham. “My son has sensory issues, so he’s pretty good at holding it together, but when it’s packed…what are you gonna do? It makes tensions get high.”

WeGo Public Transit has responded, saying they’re looking into the incident. They tell News 2 this route has been heavily used for years. 

Metro Police are investigating as well. 

Cham is asking any witnesses to come forward, hoping to find whoever’s responsible. 

“I don’t want this person to get away with it,” she said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Community Calendar