BROOKLYN — A man was indicted Tuesday for pushing a 70-year-old subway station agent to the tracks in Brooklyn on Christmas Eve, TWU officials said.
The incident took place at the Nassau Avenue station on the G line at 2 a.m. Thursday morning. Kumar Narinder, who was in the booth, informed 27-year-old Jhonathan Martinez the station was closed but Martinez jumped the turnstile and went down to one of the platforms anyway.
Narinder then went to the platform himself to catch a train to another station to relieve another station agent, as his job is to work at various stations throughout the evening so the full-time agent can take a meal break. When the train arrived, the conductor on board told Martinez he couldn’t ride because he wasn’t authorized.
Martinez then blocked Narinder from boarding and blocked him from leaving the platform to go back to the booth. Martinez then shoved Narinder in the chest to the tracks (the train had departed). He fell on his back between the two running rails.
Martinez's push of Narinder fractured Narinder's spine. He was indicted by a grand jury in Brooklyn on assault-related felony charges and faces 15 years behind bars.
TWU Local 100 Vice President Robert Kelley believes that doesn't go far enough.
“This was attempted murder,” Kelley said in a statement. “He pushed a 70-year-old man to the subway tracks and nearly killed him. My agent could have been struck by a train or electrocuted if he came in contact with the third rail."
Kelley also argued for more security in stations for workers on overnight shifts, especially when the subways are closed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for cleaning due to the pandemic.
“You can’t leave people out there alone to be killed,” Kelley added. “I’m very disgusted and very disappointed with the lack of protection for my members. It’s only by the grace of God that Kumar is still with us today.”
Responding police officers helped Narinder to the platform and arrested Martinez, who remained in the station.
In a statement, MTA spokesperson Abbey Collins condemned the attack.
"We have zero tolerance for these heinous attacks on our heroic workers," she said. "We are grateful Mr. Narinder is alive and we wish him a smooth and speedy recovery. Under Interim President Feinberg’s leadership, New York City Transit has been laser-focused on this issue, working closely with prosecutors to hold perpetrators fully accountable, publishing worker assault statistics weekly and calling for an increased police presence throughout our system.”