An A train conductor was left with a black eye and scratches early Saturday morning after announcing that his train would make express stops, according to the transit worker’s union and police.
The 62-year-old conductor was punched in the face multiple times by angry commuters at the Grant Avenue station after he announced that his southbound train would switch to express service around 4:40 a.m. on Saturday, said TWU Local 100 president Tony Utano.
“When the train doors opened up a few of the passengers got off the train and went to the conductor’s cab and started screaming and yelling and one reached in to grab the conductor and assaulted him,” Utano said.
In a video of the incident posted to Twitter, two people appear to throw punches at the conductor and one attempts to pull the man from the conductor’s cab by his arm.
“What the [expletive] is wrong with you?” one commuter shouts, as another begins throwing punches. “Get him! That’s right, get him!”
“4 am antics” reads the video’s caption.
After Grant Avenue, the MTA’s Rail Control Center instructed the conductor to skip 80th Street and 88th Street stations before then stopping again at Rockaway Boulevard.
Police are looking for three suspects involved in the incident. The conductor, whom the union declined to identify citing safety concerns, is a 17-year veteran at the authority, according to Utano.
The union is helping police with their search. Utano said union staff began circulating “Most Wanted” flyers Monday along the A line with an NYPD-verified photo of the suspected attackers, alongside five other suspects wanted in connection with other attacks on transit workers and union members. Those who believe they have information on a crime are advised to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-8477 (TIPS).
“We’re going to flood the entire system; we’re going to circulate these everywhere,” Utano said of the list of attackers. “Until these people are caught.”
The poster’s list of assaults date back to August of last year.
NYC Transit president Andy Byford said in a statement that he was “disgusted” by the “horrific” assault and was in talks with the union on ways to combat similar incidents.
“It is absolutely unacceptable, and we are working closely with NYPD to make certain the perpetrators are identified, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Byford said. “We’re also collaborating with TWU Local 100 on ways to combat assaults, including discussing a potential pilot program for bodycams.”