Panic erupted on a Manhattan J train when an off-duty New York officer physically attacked a female subway operator. NYPD Officer Tremel Davis was charged with assault on Wednesday. Davis had previously been placed on modified assignment for abusing his one-year-old niece.
During the rush-hour morning commute, the 33-year-old officer boarded a crowded J train and stood against the conductor’s booth door. Around 8:50 am, the door suddenly opened and hit Davis, who became instantly irate.
“You better apologize!” Davis yelled at train conductor Kiyya Rivera. He then slammed her into the door frame and knocked her to the ground, said law officials.
Although the 38-year-old conductor hurt her arm, she immediately got up and pulled on the emergency brake, bringing the train to an instant halt inside the tunnel. Chaos then broke out on the train as passengers began to panic and run for the exits.
“Everyone was panicking,” said passenger Laura Noguera, 24. “Everyone started running and crying and screaming and falling. I left my backpack with my computer and passport.”
According to Noguera, many of the passengers believed that the train had stopped because of a bomb scare.
“Everyone thought it was a bomb… I think everyone thought they were going to die,” the Columbia student added. “People were jumping onto the platform from between the window. Everyone just left their stuff and ran for their lives.”
The train remained held in the tunnel for over 30 minutes, causing severe delays to other Manhattan-bound J trains. One train remained on the Williamsburg Bridge for nearly an hour.
Rivera, the conductor, has been working for the MTA for more than three years. After the train was able to move and pull into the next station, she was taken to Beth Israel Hospital with a minor arm injury, officials said.
Davis was arrested by NYPD officers waiting on the platform. He was taken into custody and charged with felony assault.
(Photo: Anton Repponen/Getty Images)