One MTA operator was punched in the head, another spit on in the face, and a third hit in the arm with a beer can on Saturday night, in three separate stupid incidents in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
According to an NYPD spokeswoman, the first attack took place around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, on a northbound J train at the Delancey-Essex station in the East Village. The 45-year-old train operator told officers that he was driving with his cabin door open, because of the heat. The suspect allegedly entered the cabin, and pushed the door closed behind him. Inside, the two men got into a "verbal dispute," and the suspect allegedly punched the operator in the face, causing swelling and pain.
The operator was reportedly taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital for treatment, and has since been released. No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.
AM New York reports that an intoxicated straphanger allegedly threw a can of beer at another train operator, just before 9:20 p.m. on Saturday at the Euclid Avenue C station in East New York. About an hour later, another straphanger spit in the face of a northbound G train operator, at the Court Square station in Long Island City. No arrests were made.
"We're just like sitting ducks," one of the operators told the paper. "I'm really shocked. There's no respect for authority anymore."
Transport Workers Union Local 100 VP Kevin Harrington elaborated in a statement: “All too often, transit employees feel alone, without protection as they do their jobs in an all too hostile environment." Harrington also called for more transit NYPD cops to ride with conductors and operators on late-night shifts.
"An assault on our employees is an attack on all of us," said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg in a statement. "These incidents are extremely disturbing. We will continue to work with the NYPD to track down these individuals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."