MTA Facing Lawsuit After Employee Allegedly Assaults 13-Year-Old Girl « CBS New York
Two months later the teen and her mom are suing the MTA, claiming the surveillance video backs up their story.
The alleged assault is quick and was caught on camera. You can see the MTA employee in a white shirt shove and grab 13-year-old Anaila Muhammed and force her through the gate at the Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street train station in Park Slope.
The incident is now the subject of a $2.5 million lawsuit against the employee and the MTA.
“When I got the call that my daughter was assaulted by the MTA worker I was totally outraged,” Anaila’s mother, Herkema Powell, said.
Powell says her daughter is still suffering as a result of the March 15th incident.
“She hasn’t been in school, she has post traumatic stress syndrome, she’s not able to ride a train by herself,” she said.
Powell and her attorneys claim a service change forced Anaila to get off her usual train and head to the station at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street, where many passengers were being let through as a courtesy.
When Anaila went through without paying and stopped to wait for a friend, her attorneys say the token booth clerk, Rida Elzeck, began to berate her.
Then came the alleged attack.
“I saw him, like, grab her by the neck, pull her through the gate, dragging her,” Powell said.
In the video, bystanders seem to yell at Elzeck for the abrupt escalation.
“These were witnesses to the incident who stated to police, she clearly did nothing wrong and it was the token booth clerk that initiated this entire assault,” attorney Scott Rynecki said.
Police initially arrested Anaila after Elzeck claimed she attacked him and gave him a bloody nose. After reviewing the video, police arrested Elzeck and charged him with several crimes including assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Elzeck is due back in court on June 8th. CBS2 reached out to his attorney, the MTA, and the Transit Workers Union, each of whom said they have no comment.