This story has been modified since its original publication.
WALLA WALLA — Police arrested a 30-year-old man after he reportedly assaulted a 13-year-old boy on a Walla Walla Valley Transit bus on Wednesday.
The mother of the teen reported to the Union-Bulletin her son was sitting behind a man while riding home from school on the bus. She said video footage shows the man, later identified as Robert Kreykenbohm, take her son’s iPod before throwing the device at the teen. Kreykenbohm then slaps the boy twice, according to Johnson.
She said her son moved to the back of the bus where several other kids were sitting. A short time later Kreykenbohm went to the back of the bus and began punching the 13-year-old boy in the back of the head, she said.
“It just turned my stomach upside down to see my son get beat up by a stranger,” she said, adding that a woman on the bus intervened and another man confronted Kreykenbohm.
Sgt. Kevin Braman of the Walla Walla Police Department said the 44-year-old man who witnessed the assault forced the 6-foot, 200-pound Kreykenbohm off the bus. He said it appeared to be an unprovoked assault, Braman said.
It wasn’t clear who made the initial 911 call, but Walla Walla County Dispatch said it was “someone on the bus.” Police were dispatched to the boy’s home, and his mother said the boy's sister called police. Braman said this morning it did not appear the bus company reported the incident to police.
The boy’s mother said this morning Valley Transit provided her a copy of the video of the assault, but has otherwise ignored her requests for information. She voiced concerns about the driver. “The bus driver just kept driving like nothing happened,” she said.
Police arrested Kreykenbohm on Wednesday afternoon near Walla Walla Community College when officers contacted him in connection with a violation of an order for protection. Officers recognized Kreykenbohm as the suspect in the bus assault and he was taken into custody on investigation of fourth-degree assault.
The teen had “goose eggs” on the back of his head following the assault, according to Braman.
The boy’s mother said one Valley Transit official told her Kreykenbohm would no longer be allowed on the bus. A call to Valley Transit officials by the U-B for comment on the assault was not returned by press time this morning.
This story has been modified to reflect the following correction:
Because of a reporter's error, the person who called police after an assault was misidentified in a story in the March 24 U-B. The person was the sister of a teenager whom police say was attacked on a Valley Transit bus. We regret the error.