According to Reuters Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies spent Monday on a manhunt for an as yet unidentified man who stepped onto a Metro bus and said to the driver: “Don’t mess with me; I have Ebola.”
Metro representatives reported the unknown man, who wore a surgical mask, boarded the bus accompanied by an unidentified woman at Hoover Street and Venice Boulevard in Lincoln Heights, at approximately 1:45 pm. The unknown pair took their seats.
Several minutes later the man removed his surgical mask and cried out: “Don’t mess with me! I have Ebola!”
The man tossed his mask onto the floor of the bus. The couple exited the vehicle at Venice and Western Avenue.
The bus driver followed protocol and instructed all passengers to exit the vehicle before driving the bus to a Metro yard. The bus was taped off and quarantined until hazmat crew and official investigators arrived.
Following an investigation the bus was cleaned as a precaution. The driver was sequestered for approximately two hours. He was examined and taken to a local hospital as per his request. There he was given a clean bill of health and sent home.
Metro spokesperson Paul Gonzales told the press: “No bodily fluids were transmitted. No blood. No spit. Nothing like that.”
The FBI is working with LA County Metro officials in this investigation. They are reviewing the bus’ surveillance video in hopes of identifying the masked man. They hope to apprehend the man and will treat the scare as “a terrorist threat.”
Gonzales stated: “They’re going to do their best to identify this person who made this threat of Ebola, and when they do, we’re going to arrest him.” Gonzales also reported another incident that occurred yesterday when three young passengers boarded a bus at Sixth and Wall streets in downtown Los Angeles at 3:49 p.m.
They sat in the back of the bus and began to chant that they had Ebola. After exiting the bus near 14th street and Central Avenue they fled in three different directions. Gonzales added that Metro officials will meet today county health officials, and perhaps the CDC, to determine if current protocols require updating.
Metro Bus Passenger: ‘I have Ebola’