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Volusia bus driver stops attempted sexual assault, police say

Police say suspect is convicted felon

PONCE INLET, Fla. – A Volusia County bus driver trying to stop a man from sexually assaulting a passenger ended up in a struggle with the suspect, according to Ponce Inlet police.

The Votran bus driver told police the victim boarded the bus on Friday in the 4600 block of South Atlantic Avenue and Michael Speaks, 34, of Deltona, began harassing her. The victim tried to move seats to get away from Speaks, but the suspect grabbed her thigh, took his pants and underwear off, exposing himself to the victim, according to the arrest report.

Michael Speaks, 34, is accused of attempting to sexually assault a passenger on a Votran bus.
Michael Speaks, 34, is accused of attempting to sexually assault a passenger on a Votran bus.

The driver and victim told police Speaks made comments about sexually battering the victim while he continued to advance on her, before the driver intervened at South Atlantic Avenue and Inlet Harbor Road. 

"He grabbed her several times. He pulled his pants completely down, made some very vulgar comments of what he was going to take from her," Police Chief Fran Fabrizio said.

While the driver was attempting to restrain the suspect, Speaks grabbed him by the throat, they fell into a bus window, cracking the glass during the struggle, police said.

When police arrived, they said the suspect was defensive, swaying and slurring his speech. Officers also said they found a 5 inch knife hidden inside Speaks' pants.

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After being placed into the back of a police car, the arresting officer said Speaks began telling him he would kill the officer "when the handcuffs come off." Speak then began kicking the rear window of the patrol car, according to the report. Officers had to restrain Speaks in a wrap restraint device.

Police records show Speaks has numerous felonies and convictions, including for aggravated battery. Volusia County Jail records show dozens of arrests going back to 2004.

Speaks is charged with attempted sexual battery, carrying a concealed weapon by a convicted felon, three counts of aggravated battery, disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest and making threats of death to a law enforcement officer.

Fabrizio commended the bus driver for taking action when he Speaks acting inappropriately.

"He took it upon himself to step in and do something and possibly save a way worse incident," Fabrizio said.