The ordeal happened on a southbound J train at Essex and Delancey streets just before 9 a.m.
Wednesday night, subway conductor Kiyya Rivera is nursing bruises on her shoulder and back. They are the result, she says, of an unprovoked assault on a moving J train.
"I guess he felt like taking his aggression out on a woman today," Rivera said on the phone to Eyewitness News.
Her alleged assailant, an off-duty cop.
NYPD Officer Tremel Davis was taken into custody after the incident.
He allegedly shoved Rivera into her conductors cab as she tried to step out, while the train was leaving the Essex Street Station Wednesday morning.
Rivera says Davis seemed angry because earlier she'd told him not to lean on the cab door.
"And when I went to open the door he actually took his forearm and pushed me back into the cab," Rivera said.
That's when Rivera pulled the emergency brake.
A train full of jumpy commuters started to panic.
Rivera was taken to the hospital for treatment, and people who were on the train reported a chaotic scene with riders yelling and trying to exit via the small vent window on the side of the train:
Something just happened on the J train. Someone yelled run and all hell broke loose. pic.twitter.com/qvFzb1z986— wbernard (@wbernard) September 14, 2016
And here's this one:
(Audio) panic on the J train at Essex this morning after an assault. Rumors of a knife sent everyone into a frenzy pic.twitter.com/F8SvQdzSux— Cody Sanfilippo (@codysanfilippo) September 14, 2016
Order was restored at some point - and people filed off the train:
The stopped train caused delays down the line for the J train:
"Someone says, 'run, run, run, we're in the last car, he's got a knife, run,'" a commuter said.
"And suddenly everyone kept running to the back to the train everyone kept screaming saying 'Move! Move!'" a commuter said.
"And that's where we all crush up against each other," another commuter said.
By the time cops sorted it all out, they figured out Davis was one of their own.
He is already on modified assignment, his gun and badge was stripped away six months ago, after another arrest for another alleged act of off duty violence.
In that case, the violence was allegedly against his 1-year-old niece.
"If you have some kind of aggression issue you should not be taking it out on regular people. Go to a gym. Go see somebody about your problem," Rivera said.
"Once again we see that the transit workers have jobs unlike any other," TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said in a statement. "They deserve every penny they earn - and then some. Transit workers risk being attacked and abused like this everyday as they move millions of bus and subway riders. Just a few weeks ago, a lunatic set fire to a token booth with an agent inside. It's a very stressful environment. It's certainly isn't an easy way to make a living."
Davis is charged with felony assault. He was released on his own recognizance and his next court date will be on November 17th.
The MTA released a statement regarding the use of the emergency brake.
"Use of the emergency brake should be limited to when someone is caught in a closing door or is being dragged by a moving train," the statement read. "Stopping a train in a tunnel or on a bridge will only delay -- unnecessarily -- the arrival of aid."