PATH conductor suspended over no food on train rule

October 25, 2010 2:24:13 PM PDT
A PATH train conductor is off the job, suspended because he may have gone a little too far trying to enforce a no-eating policy on the train.

Riders say the conductor took riders food and threw it out the window, but when two teenagers put up a fight, things got violent.

"This woman was really rude, I had McDonalds and she fussed about me not eating on the train, and I said ma'am I know that," said Fatima Goba.

Regular PATH riders tell Eyewitness News that no eating or drinking signs are posted on the trains, but people often ignore them.

"You see them in the morning with their coffee, their bagels and the conductors don't really say anything," said Jamie Brown.

The Port Authority says PATH conductor Michael Wilson may have done and said a little too much. He's accused of snatching candy from a couple of teenagers on a train at Journal Square, throwing the candy out a train window, and then grabbing the teens, holding them around their necks, against their will.

The Port Authority in a statement said:
"Mr Wilson was suspended without pay pending the outcome of an investigation and hearing on the matter. He is entitled to a hearing which will take place in early November."

Eyewitness News went to Mr Wilson's Jersey City apartment, to ask him about the incident, but was told he'd left for the morning.

Back at Journal Square, one of the largest PATH train hubs, a few riders told us they get nothing but kindness from most conductors.

"Very positive, they've even opened the doors for me after they had closed them," said Sam Watson.

None, though, excused the behavior Wilson is accused of but this regular rider added in light of the no eating or drinking signs posted..

"I try to be mindful of when I have food or drink I throw it away before I get on because I don't want to be yelled at," said Kristin Bredimus.