More Attacks On Employees Over Masks, Service

20 Nov, 2020 Liz Carey

                               

Boston, Mass. (WorkersCompensation.com) – Three employees in separate states were attacked in separate incidents this week, a trend that continues to grow as the pandemic rages across the country.

A Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority ambassador was stabbed multiple times Wednesday after an argument between the ambassador and two transit passengers turned from a verbal confrontation to a physical one, authorities said.

MBTA transit police told the Boston Herald that the ambassador was attacked around 1:15 p.m. near the Copley Station. The employee is in stable but serious condition at a local hospital, officials said.

Leo Botto, a homeless Boston resident, told the Herald that he saw two people arguing with the ambassador on the Dartmouth Street sidewalk. The ambassador then went down the steps into the station and the couple followed him.

Within minutes, Botto said, police were responding to the intersection and emerged from the station with a suspect in handcuffs.

Officials said this is the latest in a string of violent attacks on transit workers during the COVID19 pandemic. Boston Carmen’s Union President Jim Evers aid the attack “underscores again the dangers and unpredictability that comes with many of these jobs.”

Last week, in Boston, transit police arrested a Dorchester man accused of assaulting an MBTA bus driver who asked him to wear a mask. Instead of putting on a mask, the 19-year-old man told the driver he had COVID-19 and coughed in the driver’s face, then assaulted him with chalk blocks used when the bus is in park.

In October, transit police released a be-on-the-lookout for a man in connection with the assault of an MBTA employee. And in July, two men in their 20s were summonsed to court on assault charges after they allegedly attack an MBTA van driver.

“These workers serve the riding public with great care and commitment and it is a shame to hear about this incident which unfortunately is part of a pattern of public transit workers facing abuse and violence in the line of duty,” Evers said, adding that union members’ thoughts are with the victim and their family.

New York Attacks

In Inwood, N.Y., police reported that an on-duty Metropolitan Transit Authority employee was walking down a platform on 207th Street and Broadway when someone struck him in the head from behind.

Police said the employee was struck multiple times before the unidentified attacker fled the station on foot. Police gave no apparent motive for the attack. The employee was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for swelling and pain.

And in Jamaica Hills, Queens, a man attacked Queens IHOP employees after being asked to wear a mask.

PIX11 News tweeted a video of the event that shows the man getting confrontational with employees.

Staff asked the man to leave after he refused to put on a mask inside the restaurant. While he did leave, he came back shortly after, running into the restaurant to try and stab a male employee. In his attempt to stab the man, he cut a 40-year-old female employee’s arm, police said. The female employee was taken to the hospital and treated with seven stitches.

Police have asked the public for help apprehending the suspect.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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