ELIZABETH — A man who attacked a pregnant NJ Transit bus driver while she was on duty earlier this year has been sentenced to eight years in state prison.

Andre Dawson III had pleaded guilty in April to aggravated assault. The charge usually calls for a sentence of up to five years, but the 39-year-old Union Township man received a stiffer term Friday due to his lengthy criminal history, which includes more than 40 arrests and 13 felony convictions.

The attack occurred Jan. 28 in this city. Authorities have said the driver was treated at a hospital for bumps, cuts and bruises, but her fetus wasn't harmed.

The attacker fled before officers arrived. But investigators identified Dawson as the suspect and arrested him about two weeks later on assault and robbery charges.

MORE: NJ Transit trying to stop assaults on conductors & bus drivers

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