NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An MTA subway conductor was stabbed Sunday morning in the Mott Haven section the Bronx.
The incident happened at around 10:40 a.m. at 149th Street and Grand Concourse.
The 33-year-old conductor, who was uniformed and on duty, was seated on a platform bench when an 20-year-old man approached him and an argument between the two ensued.
The 20-year-old stabbed the conductor several times with a switchblade in the arms and torso, according to police. The conductor was rushed to Lincoln Hospital in serious but stable condition and is expected to survive.
Police say immediately after the attack, Transit officers arrested Walter Rivera, who is believed to be emotionally disturbed.
He is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation as of Sunday evening. Charges pending against him include assault and criminal possession of a weapon.but fellow conductors are still on edge.
Colleagues of the conductor who was attacked said he is in good spirits, reports CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
“I was able to see him,” said Paul Navarro, Director Of Subway Safety with the Transport Workers Union. “I wasn’t able to talk to him as they were stitching him up, but he seemed like he was in good spirits considering he was stabbed four times.”
After a series of attack on public transit workers, conductors are on edge.
“We don’t feel we work in safe environment” said Chris Drummond, vice chair of the Transport Workers Union.
Last week two female MTA workers were attacked in two separate incidents. The suspect was seen in surveillance video but is still out there.
Police say he punched an MTA conductor and then threw urine at her. An hour later he tossed urine at a bus driver on the Grand Concourse.
“We become the face of all the problems with the MTA, but it’s not our fault,” said Eric Loegel, vice president of the Rapid Transit Operations, TWU. “Unfortunately people take it out on us. There’s disrespect, there’s verbal abuse, physical attacks, and like what we saw today, this knife attack.”
In a statement New York City transit president Andy Byford says he’s appalled and outraged by this unprovoked attack and that the suspect should feel the full force of justice.
Assaulting a transit worker carries up to 7 years in prison but the transit worker union says that rarely happens and is calling for stricter punishment and more police presence on platforms.