NORFOLK--Two HRT riders are questioning the security of the bus line after falling victim to separate crimes in the past two weeks.
One woman, who asked not to be identified given the nature of what happened, says she had a man sit down next to her on the bus and begin masturbating.
"I saw exactly what he was doing and he was just kinda looking at me with a little grin on the side of his face, out of the corner of his eye," she said.
The woman's next reaction was to start screaming, which caught the attention of the bus driver.
"He looked in the mirror, and he looked at me, and he said, 'What is he doing to you, ma'am? Is he harassing you?'" she said. "And I'm screaming and hollering. He has his penis out! He's masturbating back here!"
According to the woman, the bus driver stopped the bus to pick up new passengers but didn't do anything to stop the man or ask him to leave the bus.
HRT spokesman Tom Holden says that was the right thing to do.
"In the case of someone who is behaving in that way, the operator's responsibility is to make sure the bus is being maintained and operated safely," Holden explained. "They don't have the option of stopping the bus and confronting the individual. That's not what we want them to do."
Instead, Holden says, the driver is supposed to report crimes to the dispatchers who are supposed to call police.
In the case of the man who exposed himself, Holden says Norfolk PD wasn't notified of the incident until later because the two-way radio on the bus was broken.
"When you get on public transportation you're expecting to be safe," the victim said. "You want HRT to respond or the bus drivers to have some type of protocol that they do to protect the citizens that ride the bus," she said.
Jamie Storer, who rides the bus to and from work each day, is also questioning HRT security measures after parts were stolen off his bike while it was chained to a bike rack at the bus transfer station in Hampton.
"When I came back there that afternoon, my bike tire, plus the seat and another individual's tire, were stolen off of there in the same day," Storer said.
It's the second time in as many months Storer has lost a bike left at an HRT station.
He says what's even more frustrating, though, is that police don't have much hope for tracking down the thief.
"The officer told me that, to her knowledge, the security cameras do not work over there," Storer said.
Holden, the HRT spokesman, says the transfer station does have video cameras but would not say whether or not they work.
Holden also said HRT is not responsible for personal property left on HRT property.
"We don't secure people's property. They're responsible for their own property," Holden said. "If there's a bicycle rack there, and you leave your bike there, I strongly encourage you to lock both wheels."