MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer arrested for allegedly beating up an 8th grader in the Bronx

Monday, February 8, 2016

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An officer for the MTA is under arrest and charged with beating up an eighth-grader.

The incident apparently happened on a school campus in the Bronx. It turns out the victim was trying to break up another fight.

13-year-old Justin Harris claims he was not only attacked by a classmate, but that the student's dad, an MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer, allegedly joined in.

The eighth-grader said it started after he tried to defend another student from the alleged bully at Bronx Mathematics Prep School.

"He punched him really hard; he had Ruben on top of my son hitting him in the head. He said to his son, 'Draw blood,'" said Sean Harris, the victim's father.

Under the advice of their lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, Justin did not make a statement, rather his father explained what happened Thursday afternoon after the school day ended.

"He had to lacerations on his arms, scratches, on his back where he punched him there was a bruise," Harris said.

"What this family wants is for this ... police officer to be held accountable for what he did," Rubenstein said.

The off-duty MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer was arrested and charged with assault.

The 36-year-old Ruben Caraballo turned himself in at the 43 Precinct Friday.

Police officers at the suspect's home in the Soundview section of the Bronx said family members refused to talk to Eyewitness News when we went searching for the other side of this story.

"To think that this is something he is teaching to his son, what does he expect his son to grow up and do? It's an abuse of power," Harris said.

Caraballo works at the Queens Midtown Tunnel. He's been with the agency since 2005.

He's on active duty but not allowed to carry a firearm while the investigation continues.