Assaults on MBTA Employees Have Increased Since Last Year

BostInno | Steve Annear | 8/25/12

According to statistics from an MBTA spokesman, this year, through August 24, there have been 68 reported assaults on MBTA employees, compared to 62 during the same time period last year.

Earlier this year, the amount of assaults were enough to get MBTA Interim General Manager Jon Davis to launch a campaign reminding riders to be nice to their drivers, and show respect.

“Three hundred signs were posted inside buses, reminding T riders that bus operators are deserving of the same respect and courtesy that customers expect from T employees,” said T Spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Below is an example of the signs posted in various transportation vehicles:

Pesaturo reminded riders about the signs following an assault on an MBTA driver in Revere on Thursday night.

While most people use Twitter to vent their frustrations when they miss the bus, an Everett man turned to violence and allegedly attacked an MBTA driver, sending the operator to the hospital with multiple injuries.

According to police reports, officers arrested Paul Kouroyen and charged him with assault and battery, a shod foot, after he allegedly punched a T driver in the face and kicked him in the stomach and leg area.

The T employee told officers Kouroyen was chasing his bus and banging on the vehicle as he pulled out of Wonderland Station Thursday night. According to reports, when the bus arrived at Central Square in Lynn, Kouroyen was there waiting.

Kouroyen got on the bus that he had missed and allegedly began yelling at the driver.

According to police reports, the suspect asked the driver if he was the one that left him behind at the Wonderland Station. When the MBTA driver said “yes,”  Kouroyen began punching him.

The driver tried blocking the attack, but Kouroyen kicked him in the left shin, police said. The driver, a 12-year-veteran with the MBTA, sustained bruising to his left and right cheek, lacerations on his left leg and on his fingers.

In December of last year, MBTA officials said spitting had also become a problem for drivers operating T vehicles—specifically bus drivers.

The T’s General Manager, Davis, said incidents of passengers spitting saliva on the transportation company’s employees contributed to 28 percent of reported assaults recorded.

“We want the offenders to know that we take this crime seriously, and we will do what it takes to prosecute them. And we want our employees to know that we value their service,” he said at the time of the report.

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