Last Friday, a token booth worker-turned-"subway station agent" was attacked by a rider. Newsday reports:
The unidentified customer was unable to use his MetroCard and asked the clerk, Donald Bucco, to open the gate. After Bucco refused and looked for police, the passenger became enraged and elbowed Bucco in the face, causing him to fall backward into the gate railing. The assailant entered and fled.
And this happened at 6:15PM - where there must have been a ton of people! The Transit Workers Union is furious at the MTA, who said Bucco "did not do what he was taught to do" - apparently Bucco "tried to block" the assailant's entry into the system, when, in fact, they are told to let difficult customers pass. Who knew? The TWU says the MTA is playing the "I told you so" card by implying it's only time before there are more incidents, since riders tend to take their rage out on the MTA employees. Well, Gothamist admits to have some screaming matches the employees, but that's because the fish stinks from the head, as the MTA has some really cockamamie ways of running the system. For its part, the MTA says this is the first incident since many token booths were closed and the employees from the booths were asked to roam the stations to help out straphangers.