A woman took an MTA bus for a ride on Tuesday morning after the driver tried to boot her for lighting up a cigarette inside, police said.
The woman, named by the New York Times as Charita Headley, was sacked from her job as a bus driver last July for extended absences, according to the paper. But before he realized what was happening, the bus began to pull away with no one else on board and the driver left helplessly on the curb.
The 34-year-old first caused a commotion on the M101 bus traveling north on Third Ave. when she popped a cigarette in her mouth and lit it up, officials said.
It happened near the 96th Street stop around 7:10 a.m. Moments later, he took the bus out of service and evacuated the passengers.
While the bus was taken out of commission and passengers were getting off, Headly jumped into the driver’s seat and took off, authorities said.
A dispatcher managed to reach through the window and pull a switch to stop the bus.
The woman, who police described as emotionally disturbed, was arrested and transported to Metropolitan Hospital for evaluation, officials said. The charges against her weren’t immediately clear.