Perhaps this is why many station agents choose to stay in their booths when they witness an assault. Tareque Ahmed, a 35-year-old station agent working at the 36th Street R station in Queens, witnessed a couple fighting on the platform as he began his shift late Sunday night. According to AMNY, Ahmed saw the man hit the woman. He began taking photos and yelled to a co-worker to call for police. The assailant then turned his rage towards Ahmed.
Once he told his co-worker to contact authorities, Ahmed said the man "came by the gate and started punching me." The couple left the station before police arrived, and they are still searching for the alleged attacker. Ahmed was taken to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, where he said, "I feel pain. My eye is red."
Co-worker Rushdi Huq said of Ahmed, "He saw something and said something. Imagine what's going to happen when the clerks are laid off and there's no one there to help." The MTA laid off 266 workers in May, and are expected to lay off at least 180 more in order to save $21 million. Many straphangers were worried that fewer station agents would mean more crime in subway stations. Straphanger Campaign's Gene Russianoff previously warned, "Station clerks or the eyes and ears of many subways. Riders are going to be scared at night at subway entrances when there are no human beings around."