NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority came under fire Tuesday for a disturbing incident that was caught on camera.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, videos showed an MTA worker dragging a passenger from a subway train at the Church Avenue stop in Kensington, Brooklyn.
The Church Avenue stop is the last on the G Train, which means all passengers are supposed to get off. But when one man stayed sleeping in the subway car, an MTA employee took matters into his own hands.
Recorded through the G Train windows, the passenger was dragged on his back by an MTA worker. He was pulled past row after row of seats by one arm – as his shirt bunched and his skin skidded against the subway floor.
Once they reached the door, the neon-clad worker nudged the passenger with his foot and told him to get up. His coworker was seen moving in front of the camera and beckoned the passenger over.
By then, the passenger was able to stand up and walk out.
“You’re on the job. You’re in uniform,” said witness Claude Harris. “What would give you that notion that you can do that and everything would be fine?”
Harris shot the video on his phone around 9 p.m. this past Saturday. He said the passenger had been sitting near him asleep for most of the ride.
“His face was pretty flushed,” Harris said. “I didn’t smell alcohol, but I can tell the results of someone drinking.”
When the train pulled to the end of the line at Church Avenue, MTA workers started clearing out the cars. Harris stepped off, curiously watching the employee walk over to the sleeping stranger.
“He just immediately like goes: ‘Yo! Wake up!’ and just grabs him, throws him down, and before the guy can even know what was going on, he’s being pulled by his hoodie,” Harris said.
CBS2 showed the video to G Train commuters. Everyone who saw it was horrified.
“Wow, and instead of kindly waking him up they’re going to drag him?” said commuter Donald Smith. “That’s a human being right there.”
Many riders also told CBS2 that passed out passengers are not exactly rare sights in the city, so the MTA should have a protocol for handling them.
“I think he should have called for help, so you know, you got more than one person to pick him up and help him out instead of dragging him,” said commuter Sam Cekig.
“You don’t do that,” said commuter Wendy Carrasco. “That’s unacceptable.”
“Having a coworker there, he could’ve opened up the other door and asked his coworker to help him escort the man off,” added Harris.
The MTA denied CBS2’s request for an on-camera interview. A representative called the vide disturbing, and said the employee in the video has been removed from service while the incident is being investigated.
CBS2 asked the MTA how employees are expected to clear a sleeping passenger. There was no response late Monday afternoon.
Other city agencies said the right procedure is to try to wake the person up and then call an ambulance.