WEST HILLS (CNS) – A 24-year-old transient was arrested in connection with what a sheriff’s lieutenant called the “unprovoked, vicious beating” of a Metro bus driver.

Geovanny Falcon was identified by detectives using video from cameras on the bus, and witness statements from the incident in West Hills on Nov. 17.

Falcon and a woman companion boarded the Metro bus at Valley Circle and Victory boulevards then “for no apparent reason,” Falcon put a headlock on the 59-year-old woman bus driver, Detective Keith Schumaker said. Falcon, apparently drunk, then repeatedly punched and kicked the driver, Schumaker said.

The Metro employee was hospitalized following the attack.

Schumaker said witness statements led them to suspect Falcon, described as a transient who was drinking heavily at the time and may have other medical problems.

“We were pretty sure we knew who the suspect was at that point, we just didn’t know where to find him,” Schumaker said.

A Nov. 24 news conference prompted Falcon’s female companion to call in and say Falcon would turn himself in. That did not happen, but a tipster spotted Falcon at the woman’s residence on Thanksgiving Day, and deputies arrested him there.

Falcon was booked for suspicion of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, and was held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

“I truly believe that it was the public getting involved that led to this arrest,” said Chief Ronene Anda, who is in charge of the Sheriff’s Transit Policing Division.