MTA police have charged a teen with assaulting two LIRR conductors Wednesday morning when they asked him to pay a fare.
MTA officials said Thursday the 17-year-old male was riding a Brooklyn-bound train to Atlantic Terminal shortly after 10:30 a.m. when the conductors asked him to pay his fare. When the teen refused, he took a ticket-issuing machine from the conductors and began attacking them, officials said.
The teen got off the train and ran away at the East New York Station. The conductors, one with nine years on the job and the other with 19, were seriously injured and hospitalized in Brooklyn, officials said. One suffered an arm injury while the other one was hit in the face and suffered a swollen right eye, the MTA said.
Neither the suspect nor the conductors were identified.
The teen was later arrested and charged with two felony counts of assault and one count of robbery.
“Assaulting conductors who are doing their jobs helping riders get to jobs, health care and other places they need to go is intolerable, outrageous and will result in aggressive investigation,” MTAPD Chief John Mueller said in a statement.
“Having made a rapid arrest, it is now up to prosecutors to ensure the law is enforced, so this violent perpetrator faces consequences, and the victims receive justice they deserve,” Mueller said.
Anthony Simon, general chairman of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART), which represents the LIRR’s 1,100 conductors, said in a statement: "Once again, even with stepped up train patrols and tremendous Union involvement in legislation to protect train crews, two of our Conductors were brutally attacked just doing their jobs trying to collect fares on the Atlantic Branch.
"These assaults must be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible and a ban imposed to send a clear message to all riders that assaulting our members will not be tolerated....Fare policies and service plans to Brooklyn must be cleaned up immediately to lower the risks of problems on the branch," Simon said.