Man Accused of Trying to Gouge Out Bus Driver’s Eyes Because He’s Asian

December 29, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—A suspect has been charged with attacking a bus driver last week as well as fighting with police officers and trying to take their guns while they arrested him.

Cameron Michael Ward, 25, was arrested for the alleged assault and is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for the December 20 incident, which occurred in the Millcreek Trax Station area at 210 W. 3300 South.

Bus driver Neil Uemura pulled into the Millcreek Trax Station and stepped off the bus. Ward approached Uemura and asked, “Where are you from?” according to court documents.

Ward then “punched (the bus driver) several times in his face and head” and continued to punch and kick him after he was knocked to the ground. After getting back up, Uemura was knocked to the ground a second time and Ward “attempted to gouge out [Uemura’s] left eye, which caused a crescent-shaped laceration to (his) left cornea,” according to charges.

Uemura was taken to the hospital and treated for several injuries and received six staples to close a gash. He told police he believes the incident was a hate crime and that he was attacked because he’s Asian-American, according to KSL.

The 25-year-old suspect was later spotted near 136 W. 3300 South, by a South Salt Lake police officer. Ward refused to obey the officer’s commands to sit and began punching the officer in the head and face.

“(The officer) was able to take Ward to the ground waiting for backup officers to arrive. Ward continued to fight, grabbing (the officer’s) firearm with his left hand trying to remove it from the holster,” the charges state.

“Backing officers arrived to assist in taking Ward into custody. Ward continued to fight, kicking (a second officer) in the torso so hard that his gear on his vest was knocked off,” the charges state.

Ward was charged Tuesday in the 3rd District Court with two counts of disarming an officer, a first-degree felony; aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; two counts of assault on an officer, a class A misdemeanor; and interfering with an arrest, a class B misdemeanor, according to KSL.

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