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The New York MTA wants to ban riders who assault subway workers

(Bloomberg) — The MTA has banned a rider in New York City for the first time to curb assaults against its workers.



For the record, (Bloomberg) The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City has decided to take action against assaults against MTA employees by seeking the first ever suspension of a passenger.

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is responsible for the city’s subways, buses, and commuter rails, has called for the exclusion of Alexander Wright, who is accused of attacking a transit cleaner named Anthony Nelson and is now wanted on felony assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, and harassment in the second degree charges. The Pelham Bay Park subway station in the Bronx was the scene of an assault on August 11.

“We must do everything we can to prevent these attacks and keep our customers and employees safe,” MTA CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement. This punishment is appropriate in light of Mr. Wright’s horrendous actions and his extensive record of arrests, which includes some for similar violent attacks. Assailants against transit workers have no business riding the subway, bus, or train.

After Wright’s conviction, Lieber plans to write to Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and ask for a restraining order barring him from the justice system for three years.

The MTA has “personnel in virtually every station,” according to a representative, and “they are going to be on the lookout for people who are banned.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill in June to extend protections for transit workers beyond those currently in place. Previously, station customer assistants, ticket or revenue collectors, maintenance workers, repairers, cleaners, and their supervisors were not protected by the law that charges individuals who attack or harass workers with second degree assault.

The MTA reports that during the week beginning August 8 there were 32 incidents of assault or harassment against transit workers.

(Corrections made in section 5 with additional MTA commentary on the implementation of bans.)

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