Video shows teens beating officers in confrontation over subway fare evasion, NYPD says
By ALI BAUMAN
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NEW YORK (WCBS) — Two teenagers were arrested after police said video showed them beating NYPD officers in a subway station over the weekend.
Transit officials said it’s part of a troubling trend, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Monday.
Cellphone video shows the fight between two NYPD officers and two 16-year-olds. At one point, the boy punches an officer, then wrestles him to the ground and puts him in a chokehold.
Eventually, with the help of an MTA worker, the cops were able to put the teens in handcuffs.
It happened at around 6 p.m. Saturday at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue station in Harlem. The video was released by the Staten Island Borough President.
Police said it started when officers saw the teens jump the turnstile and told them to leave the station. But the teen boy began arguing with them, so the officers tried to take him into custody.
That’s when the video picks up.
“I was outraged,” MTA CEO Janno Lieber said. “Here’s a cop who’s doing what we asked of the NYPD, which is to try to deter and cut down on fare evasion.”
Lieber said he asked the NYPD to crack down on fare beaters because the problem has tripled in recent years.
“We want people to feel comfortable and safe. When they see someone smoking or open drug use or fare evasion, people get worried that that person might do something else,” Lieber said.
NYPD Chief of Transit Jason Wilcox said there’s also been an increase in assaults on MTA employees and police.
“We have seen over a 55 percent increase in assaults on police officers this year. The majority of these assaults on police officers began as the officers were engaging persons who had committed fare evasion and/or other quality of life violation,” Wilcox said.
The teens in the video were arrested for assaulting an officer and other charges. They were arraigned in family court and released without bail until their next appearance.
The teen boy has two prior arrests this year for robbery and possession of a loaded gun.
In a statement, the police union president said in part, “Cops are putting ourselves on the line to make the subways safer, but we are feeling abandoned by a justice system that won’t back us up.”
“People who attack cops have to know that there are consequences,” Lieber said.
One of the officers was treated for swelling and both are expected to recover.
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