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Pittsburgh man sues Greyhound, accuses driver of racial discrimination

Bob Bauder
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William Anderson alleges in a federal lawsuit that a Greyhound bus driver discriminated against him during a trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

A Pittsburgh man is suing Greyhound Lines Inc., accusing a driver of racial discrimination during a trip in early January from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

William Anderson, 46, of Homewood, who is black, contends in the federal lawsuit that the white driver accused him several times of vaping during the trip, harassed him as he was using a bathroom on the bus and attempted to have a Maryland state police officer remove him. Vaping is a term for the use of electronic cigarettes.

The lawsuit alleges “racist, discriminatory, negligent and outrageous behavior” by Greyhound and the driver. It contends that Anderson suffered physical injuries and other damages.

Greyhound could not immediately be reached for comment but previously confirmed that it was investigating the allegations.

Anderson, the owner of a Homewood auto body shop and longtime political and civil rights activist, said the driver targeted him because of his race and violated his constitutional rights.

“We’re hoping that this never happens to anyone else and that Greyhound is held accountable from the top down for its treatment of black and brown people,” Anderson said. “They’re getting federal funds to help run their business … and they continue to violate the civil liberties for mainly black and brown people.”

A series of incidents happened Jan. 5 as Anderson was traveling to visit family in Washington, according to the lawsuit.

Anderson alleges the driver accused him of vaping and forced him to sit near the driver’s seat at the front of the bus. He contends the driver later jerked the bus off the highway as he was using a restroom and ordered him out. Anderson urinated on himself and suffered a bruised chest because of the way the driver stopped the bus, according to the lawsuit.

The driver then drove to a Maryland state police station and asked an officer to eject him. The officer told the driver there was not reason to remove Anderson, according to the lawsuit.

Anderson is seeking punitive and compensatory damages and payment of attorney fees in excess of $150,000, according to the suit.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.