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MTA Worker Speaking Out After Another Subway Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - An MTA worker is speaking out tonight after being attacked on the job.

There have been several incidents like it recent months, and workers want something to be done, reports CBS2's Reena Roy from Coney Island.

With a black eye and a bump on her forehead, this 42-year-old train operator is still shaken up.

"When I exited the cab door I closed the door and I locked it, and as I turned around, a 6-foot, 200-pound man punched me in the face," said Sandra, an MTA train operator.

Sandra didn't give her last name out of fear. She says a man punched her at random as she got off the F train Monday around 1:45 p.m. at the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station.

She's been on the job for three years and never thought it would happen to her.

"I turned around, his fist was in my face. No conversation, no nothing and that's what scares me the most," she said. "You know it was just so random, so violent, and what did I do to you?"

It's the latest assault on MTA workers in recent months.

Back in October, Transport Workers Union officials say another conductor was sucker-punched at same terminal on the same line.

As police search for her attacker, they are also looking for a man wanted for questioning after an MTA bus driver was punched in the face over a dispute about the fare in Elmhurst, Queens.

Last month, police say emotionally disturbed 20-year-old Walter Rivera stabbed a subway conductor who was sitting on a bench at the 149th Street-Grand Concourse station in the Bronx.

In the same area a week before, investigators say a man threw cups of urine at two female MTA workers. Cops later arrested him.

"Our people are getting punched, spit on, urine throw in their face - this has got to stop," said TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano.

"We shouldn't have to feel scared to leave our cab," said Sandra. "I come here to transport people from one destination to another - not to be assaulted."

Workers are asking the MTA and NYPD to step up patrols at subway stations across the city in hopes of preventing these kinds of incidents. The Transit Authority is also working with police to address this issue, calling the attacks reprehensible.

The NYPD said assaults on MTA workers are down 20 percent compared to last year, with eight so far this year compared to 10 in 2018.
That's no comfort to Sandra who says she's scared to walk down the street and unsure when she'll be back to work.

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