What to Know
- An A train conductor was brutally attacked by angry subway passengers at the Grant Street station in Brooklyn on Saturday
- The 62-year-old conductor had a black eye and several scratches on his face and arms after the suspect repeatedly punched him
- Transit leaders were distributing wanted posters of the suspects Tuesday and taking a stand against attacks on transit workers
Transit leaders are speaking out against assaults on subway conductors, bus operators and other workers after a recent video showing a shocking attack on a conductor in Brooklyn over the weekend grabbed the attention of MTA authorities.
"It was disgusting and appalling," said Andy Byford, the new president of NYC Transit. "We are not gonna tolerate this depressing tsunami of assaults on our staff."
Byford stood with transit union leaders Tuesday as they held up a wanted poster of those suspected for several other assaults that have happened in the months before Saturday's early morning attack. In that incident, a conductor had just announced the A train at Grant Avenue would be running express, skipping the stops riders had been waiting for.
Angry riders descended on a conductor through an open window, shouting and then punching him, video shows.
Tony Utano of TWU Local 100 says he plans to post the wanted posters everywhere "so these people get caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Transit worker Crystal Young told News 4, "We understand the passengers are upset, but we are not the ones they should take it out on when they're upset."
Bus driver Felix Olivo said he's been assaulted by a frustrated rider before, and seeing the video of the attack on the conductor "stirred up feelings in me."
Byford said the seemingly endless decline in service is no excuse for lashing out.
"I sometimes get frustrated when I board a plane. I don't go assault the cabin crew or the pilot," he said.
The next steps, Byford said, is equipping transit workers with body cameras so that the MTA doesn't have to rely on cellphone witnesses to record an assault, whihc is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The injured conductor was back on the job Tuesday.