MTA violence: 3 workers attacked in 24 hours, agency says

WABC logo
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
3 workers attacked in 24 hours, MTA says
The MTA says there have been three appalling attacks on their workers in the last 24 hours.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The MTA says there have been three appalling attacks on their workers in the last 24 hours.

The latest incident happened in Queens when someone smashed an MTA bus window Tuesday morning after the bus came in for a stop in Jamaica.

The in-service bus on the Q56 Route travelling westbound was standing in the bus stop at Jamaica Avenue and 132nd Street.

That's when police say a male pedestrian walked up to the driver's side window of the bus, verbally assaulted him and struck the window with his fist that shattered the window.

Customers were safely discharged from the bus and no injuries were reported.

The attacker ran away from the scene and remains on the loose.

RELATED: Quick acting officers save life of construction worker at Laguardia Airport

In Brooklyn, authorities say a subway conductor was pushed onto the tracks at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station in Downtown Brooklyn shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The 65-year-old was on-duty when he was shoved onto live tracks by the suspect in an unprovoked attack.

"There was no argument," said Eric Loege, TWU Local 100's Vice President of RTO. "He just shoved the conductor off the platform onto the tracks and ran off.

The conductor struck his head when he fell, suffering injuries to his neck, back and head. He was removed conscious and alert to Brooklyn Hospital.

RELATED: Vision Zero: Speed limits reduced at 9 of the most dangerous streets in NYC

On Monday night, officials say a bus operator aboard an out-of-service bus at Fourth Avenue and E. 8th Street in Manhattan was assaulted.

The bus was standing at the terminal with its doors open when a male pedestrian had approached the bus and held the front doors open, according to authorities.

The man then punched the bus operator in the face several times.

The victim was removed to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to the face, neck and back.

RELATED: Beloved caretaker fatally shot in back inside Brooklyn church

NYCT Interim President Sarah Feinberg released a statement on the attacks.

"Attacking a public servant who is working hard to keep New York moving during this time of uncertainty is heartbreaking, outrageous, and frankly, unfathomable," she said. "Over the past 24 hours, three New York City Transit employees - workers who were simply doing their jobs, serving the public - were attacked, assaulted, threatened, and in one horrifying instance, pushed onto subway tracks. These reckless displays of violence are part of a troubling pattern we are seeing across our system. We have sounded the alarm on this disturbing trend to the NYPD a number of times. More needs to be done."

Feinberg said the MTA has seen an "alarming uptick in these kinds of assaults."

"I worry sometimes that these are happening so frequently and that incidents like these are happening in New York enough that people are becoming immune to it," she said via Zoom. "These are really troubling attacks that happened to human beings, to essential workers who are just showing up to work every day to be public servants, and I think it's really important that we be looking at what more can be done across the city to keep these folks safe."

Feinberg called out the NYPD to "step up."

"The MTA police force is small, but we're mighty," she said. "We're doing everything that we can and we partner closely with the NYPD, but I think we find ourselves in a moment when the NYPD is doing a lot of self examination and that's important, and there are a lot of budget issues in the city. I understand that we have horrible budget issues on our end and MTA as well, but we can't while we're trying to sort out those budget issues while we're doing this self examination about how we police leave everyone else to fend for themselves. It's really important that across the city the leadership is stepping up and making sure that the NYPD and others understand that these kinds of assaults and attacks are absolutely unacceptable. We cannot be a city where these kinds of things just happen."

Feinberg also asked commuters if they see something, then they should say something.

"We need people to be reporting those as they see them happening as they boarded a subway car, if you see a window smashed, please report it to the conductor, to the booth attendant," she said.

ALSO READ: New York City delays opening public schools amid threat of UFT strike


* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts