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MTA seeks "first-ever" ban of suspect in assault on MTA worker who tried to protect passengers

MTA wants to temporarily ban rider accused in attack on transit worker
MTA wants to temporarily ban rider accused in attack on transit worker 02:04

NEW YORK -- It's protection for subway workers. 

In a rare move, the MTA wants to temporarily ban a rider who left a transit employee injured. 

The suspect in that attack was indicted in the Bronx Friday. 

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge spoke to the victim's family. They're calling for justice. 

"My brother is still going through a lot of pain," said the victim's sister Nashia Nelson. 

"No one else I hope this does not happen to," said Lisa Nelson, the victim's mother. 

They are speaking out for Anthony Nelson - his attorney advised him not to while his case is in court. The 35-year-old's arm is still in a sling, one week after he was brutally beaten at the Pelham Park 6 train station

"For him to come to work and have to be beat up, spat at, put in the hospital for two surgeries is a travesty. Today it's Mr. Nelson. Tomorrow it's your family," said TWU Local 100 Vice President of Stations Robert Kelley. 

Last Thursday, Nelson says he noticed a man harassing people on the platform around 9 a.m. and tried to intervene and report him to police, but before he got to the officers, the suspect allegedly punched him in the face. He suffered a broken nose and collar bone.   

Nelson and another man managed to hold down the attacker until police arrived. 

Alexander Wright, 49, was arrested. Friday, he was indicted by a grand jury and charged with felony assault and harassment. 

Police say he has more than 40 prior arrests. 

"You can tell who the guy is by his rap sheet, his history," Nashia Nelson said. "We really just want to see justice. We want to see him behind bars, which is what he deserves." 

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber made a rare appearance at court, asking the Bronx district attorney to apply what he calls the first-ever ban. 

"Allows for somebody who attacks a transit worker or commits a sex crime in the subway to be barred from using the transit system for up to three years," Lieber said. 

Nelson still has a long recovery ahead, but says eventually he does plan to return to work. 

"The job will be there whenever you recover, whenever you're ready to come back to work," Lieber said. 

The suspect, Wright, is due back in court Sept. 7. 

If the courts decide to apply the ban, the MTA plans to enforce it using police and surveillance. 

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