Nov. 9, 2023 By Bill Parry
The NYPD is looking for a pair of individuals who assaulted MTA workers in two Queens police precincts last month.
Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing are searching for a woman who attacked two bus operators in two separate incidents nearly two hours apart in College Point during the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 14.
The first victim that day was driving an MTA Q25 bus in the vicinity of 127th Street and 20th Avenue at around 4 p.m. when the suspect approached him and allegedly sprayed pepper spray in his face before she ran off the bus, police said. The 53-year-old victim was transported by EMS to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition with minor injuries.
The suspect struck again at around 5:40 p.m. on board an MTA Q65 bus in the vicinity of 110th Street and 14th Avenue. The woman approached the 50-year-old bus driver and struck him in the face with her cell phone before running off the bus. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.
The NYPD released surveillance images of the suspect as she rode one of the buses and described her as having a dark complexion with black hair. She was wearing an orange and blue long sleeved shirt with a gray handbag over her shoulder.
A reward of up to $3,500 is being offered for information that leads to her arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Meanwhile, police from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica are looking for a man who was riding an MTA Q85 bus at the corner of Merrick Boulevard and 109th Avenue when he approached a 38-year-old on-duty MTA employee and slugged him in the face with a closed fist in an unprovoked attack, police said. The victim suffered pain and swelling to his face and refused medical attention at the crime scene.
The NYPD released a surveillance image of the suspect and described him as having a medium complexion and a bald head. He is believed to be between 40 and 45 years old and was wearing a black T-shirt with “Fiend” in white lettering across the chest.
A reward of up to $3,500 is being offered for information that leads to his arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
The Q85 bus was out of the MTA Jamaica Bus Depot a few blocks north at 103-30 Merrick Blvd., where Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Transit Workers Assault bill into law in June 2022, protecting more than 11,000 MTA workers and prosecuting those who attack transit workers with sentences up to seven years in prison. The bill makes it a second-degree felony to assault a transit worker and it passed unanimously in the Assembly and 62-2 in the Senate.
Under the TransitWatch initiative, up to $2,000 may be paid for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a perpetrator of an assault on a transit worker.
The 103rd Precinct has reported 564 assaults so far in 2023, 56 more than the 508 reported at the same point last year, an increase of 11%, according to the most recent CompStat report. Assaults are also on the rise in the 109th Precinct, with 384 incidents so far in 2023, 97 more than the 287 reported at the same point in 2022, an increase of 33.8%, according to CompStat.