Judge orders evaluation for suspect in bus attack

In Dorchester District Court Tuesday, Judge David Poole ordered a 20-day mental evaluation for 32-year-old Steven Phillips, who allegedly flashed two teenage girls on the Route 23 MBTA bus just before 3 p.m. on Monday, and then stabbed them both. Phillips will be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for the evaluation, on a recommendation by the court's clinician.

Transit and Boston police responded to Morris and Washington streets on Monday to find two young women, 18 and 19 years old, with blood on their faces, according to the District Attorney's office. Witnesses pointed out Phillips, who was apparently still at the scene, and told police he had tossed a knife down a storm drain nearby.

Police determined that the victims and the suspect first interacted at one of the Talbot Avenue stops on the route, where the suspect reportedly mistook a private conversation as pertaining to him. An argument ensued and Phillips allegedly exposed himself to the two teenagers and walked away.

After getting on the bus, the victims soon discovered that Phillips had already boarded it, according to a statement from the D.A. "So you decided to take the bus," Phillips reportedly said, eventually using an expletive with the 18-year-old.

The argument then became violent, with Phillips allegedly stabbing the 19 year-old in the cheek and then the 18 year-old in the chest, arm and head when she attempted to intervene. None of the injuries were life threatening.

Phillips will return to court on Nov. 10 to face two charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one of open and gross lewdness.

The same bus route was recently the subject of a study by teens from the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, who decried the violence on the route.

"When they first started doing the study, they started putting cops on the bus," said that teen program's coordinator Ralph Ortiz on Tuesday, "but then they took them out. The times that it is really dangerous is between 2 and 5:30, but I don't know if this could have been prevented."