The New York City Police Department released a surveillance video, asking the public for help in identifying a man who had attacked a subway worker.
It turns out the man was an off-duty NYPD cop, who said he was simply defending himself from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker who had assaulted him for taking her photo.
And 2015 is off to a roaring start.
The incident took place December 23, but the cop didn’t turn himself in until Thursday when he saw himself on the surveillance footage that was posted in the New York Post, stating that the NYPD was asking for help in identifying the man.
According to the New York Post:
A straphanger angry about train service being diverted choked a subway conductor and threw her onto the floor of a Bronx station, sources said.
The assailant started screaming at the 28-year-old worker, then put her in a bear hug and choked her after shoving her onto the platform floor, authorities said.
“He was livid about the service and took it out on the conductor,” a source said.
Another conductor quickly rushed to her rescue, and pulled the thug off of her. But he ran off.
Cops said the victim still hurt her head, neck, and back, and had to be treated at a local hospital.
She was on the platform to give information to passengers about a service diversion, a source added.
The suspect is 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, authorities said. He has short brown hair, brown eyes, and wore a black jacket and brown pants.
The cop saw the video, then turned himself in, telling investigators that he was assaulted after trying to take a photo of the worker during a verbal exchange.
According to CBS:
Police said the off-duty officer allegedly bear-hugged the female Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker, and then choked her, after she tried to grab his cellphone.
The officer told investigators the woman cursed at him after he asked her a question, and grabbed his phone to prevent him from taking her picture, police alleged.
The victim was taken to the hospital for minor head, neck and back injuries and was released.
There does not appear to be any video of the actual incident. The only video released was of the cop entering the subway station through a turnstile.
It was just over a year ago that the MTA announced on its site that it will not tolerate attacks on its workers, reminding commuters that an attack on them is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
An attack on any one of our workers is an attack on all of us, and the MTA is fully committed to protecting our employees. To maintain this commitment, MTA New York City Transit’s Department of Security has dedicated staff charged with tracking all employee assaults, from the initial incident through full adjudication.
In all cases, we continuously interface with the NYPD and the five District Attorney’s offices to ensure all is done to locate and arrest those who assault our employees, and make certain that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This week there is good news to report on that front.
As of today, no charges have been filed, which is likely a result of the man turning out to be a cop.
UPDATE: The cop’s name is Mirjan Lolja and the case is now being investigated by internal affairs.