While I have been called names, gestured at, and had false complaints called in, I have managed to date to avoid being actually assaulted. Today that record was broken, just a few weeks shy of my 3rd year anniversary.
On my last inbound trip this morning, a man boarded, put 20 cents in the fare box and said "I'm a little short". Per our policy and training, I stated the correct fare to the passenger but did not deny him boarding. He got angry when I wouldn't outright give him permission to not pay the correct fare, demanding his 20 cents back (it was in the fare box) and grabbing at my transfers.
At this point I did invite him off the bus. He bent down, shouted that I was "ignorant" a couple of times. I told him that I didn't say he couldn't board. He stepped back, displayed his middle finger, told me I was ignorant again and from the bottom step leaned back and lunged his head forward, spraying spit on me from chin to shin. As I grimaced and hit the EA (the extent of my reaction), he turned and left the bus.
I apologized to the passengers, telling them that I had been assaulted and needed to make a police report. Transit Police showed up within about 5 minutes, and field supervisors a few minutes later. By this time, Mr. Spitter was long gone. I helped my passengers transfer to one of my following buses, made my report to police and supervisors, and moved on.
My one over-riding thought during all of this (seriously) was: "I wish Adron Hall was here. I am so totally on-time at this stop!"