Even though many are worried about subway safety as the MTA is trying to lay off station agents, having them around only does so much for rider safety. Lisseth Choez, 22, is suing the NYPD, the Health and Hospitals Corp. and the MTA over a violent beating she received from a man who attacked at her at the Lorimer Street J train stop last year, fracturing her eye socket as he kicked and punched her. Her assault was in full view of two MTA workers, who remained inside their secure booth and called police. It was a full ten minutes before anybody showed up to help.
Timothy Prude attacked Choez at the Lorimer Street J train subway stop on August 18, 2009. Her $1 million lawsuit also claims Prude shouldn't have been in the station, as he was allegedly in police custody at nearby Woodhull Hospital. But all the defending parties say the beating wasn't their fault. An NYC Transit spokesman says station agents aren't allowed to leave their booths, even in an emergency. They are allowed to call emergency personnel on a communications system. Police also couldn't confirm that Prude had been in police custody before the attack.
Prude was charged with second- and third-degree assault after police finally arrested him, though he managed to punch a cop in the process. He is currently in custody at a state hospital. Last year a judge threw out a rape victim's negligence suit, which claimed a station agent sat in his booth and called police as he watched her get raped. Victim Maria Besedin said, "By the time somebody came, I mean, I had lost all my dignity, and it was over."