GIRL'S BLOODY BEATING
DRIVER DOES NOTHING AS TEENS ATTACK HER ON BUS
By DAN MANGAN and LEELA de KRETSER
March 18, 2007 -- A Catholic-high-school student said she was brutally punched, kicked and teased for looking "Chinese" by a pack of kids as she rode a city bus home from school - and claims the bus driver did nothing except tell her to "go to a priest."
Marie Stefanie Martinez, 17 - still bruised and battered after her ordeal - says she was wearing her uniform when she was attacked by a group of 10 black teenagers shortly after step ping on to the B82 bus at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
"I'm just so glad the kids didn't have a weapon. If they did, I could have died if they stabbed me with a pen or something," said Martinez, from the Philippines.
The brazen beating began as the bus pulled away from Ocean Avenue and Kings Highway, where Martinez boarded with her pal, Sherell.
"When we got on they were al ready whispering and making noises and everything," Martinez said. "They were like 'I'm not letting you past' and everything. They were laughing."
The scared schoolgirl said she was laughed at when she tried to defend herself, with the bullies mocking her accent.
"They were pulling my hair, pulling my hair, opening my book bag!" she said. "I said, 'Leave me alone. I'm not doing anything to you.'
"That's when they started to crowd around me. The boy punched me twice in my face and my mouth."
Martinez said she was ultimately saved by a man in his 30s, who pulled her from the group.
The honors student then told the driver what happened, and he shockingly said to go to talk to a priest.
She instead opted to file a report at the 63rd Precinct.
Lourdes Maduindam, Martinez's aunt and legal guardian, said when she saw her niece, "She was bleeding like crazy from her noise and mouth. She had a headache and was dizzy.
"Thank God there's no fracture."
Martinez said she is so afraid that she doesn't know how she'll get to school tomorrow.
"I am terrified. I'm scared to take the bus," she said. "I can't sleep. I've tried to sleep, but I can't. I'm too afraid to."
Martinez's lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold, said the family will sue the MTA.
"How did the bus driver let this happen?" Arnold said. "You have 13 kids making a commotion. This guy just turned a blind eye to it.
"He shirked his responsibility to this child."
The MTA could not immediately comment.
Additional reporting by Eric Lenkowitz