Broward County

Impatient bus rider chokes a mom with 2 children on lap, cops say

A 70-year-old Miami Beach man was jailed last week after police said he choked a woman on a shuttle bus in front of her two children after being told there were no more seats.

Patrick Pecoraro was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery after police were called on Saturday to the Key West Sponge Factory, 1 Whitehead St., where a shuttle bus driver said two men became belligerent when told they would have to wait for the next bus to pick them up.

That would mean a 30-minute wait, according to the police report.

Police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said it wasn’t a city bus or shuttle and that she didn’t know what company owns the bus. Multiple hotels and resorts in Key West provide shuttle service to Old Town.

Pecoraro and the other man pushed their way onto the shuttle, cursing at people to move back and make room. When Ashley Wayne of Lake Worth asked them to get off the bus, Pecoraro went after her while her two children were on her lap, police said.

“Pecoraro then grabbed her throat with both hands and began to choke her,” Officer Antonio Ane wrote. “Wayne’s 9-year-old son attempted to push Pecoraro off her.”

The bus driver, Marlon Lyons, pulled Pecoraro off the woman and pushed him off the bus. An unidentified man ran off the shuttle and punched Pecoraro in the face, police said, but that man was no longer at the scene when officers arrived.

Pecoraro smelled of booze, police said, and insisted he was the one who got choked while on the bus. He “felt all the people on the shuttle were out to get him for an unknown reason.”

Efforts to reach Lyons and Wayne for comment were unsuccessful.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen