Richard T. Downes, a Suffolk bus driver arrested for attempted...

Richard T. Downes, a Suffolk bus driver arrested for attempted rape. (June 27, 2010) Credit: NYSP

A Suffolk County bus driver tried to rape a lone passenger as she rode the bus Saturday afternoon, state police said.

A woman was riding the 8A Suffolk County Transit bus at about 2:50 p.m. when the bus driver, Richard T. Downes, 43, of Middle Island, suddenly pulled the bus over on County Road 51 near the Riverhead County Center, police said.

Police said that Downes started talking to the passenger, then forced her to the back of the bus and attempted to rape her.

After she fought back, police said, Downes gave up and resumed driving the bus, dropping the passenger off in Riverhead.

The woman approached a Riverhead Town police officer, who took her to state police because the alleged crime took place in Southampton Township.

Troopers found the bus on Route 24 off the LIE and arrested Downes for attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Southampton Town Court today.[

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