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DNA may be used to track low-lifes who spit on MTA workers

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Law enforcement may use DNA to help identify and prosecute low-life straphangers who spit on MTA bus drivers and other transit workers.

 

"We're going to look into it and talk to the NYPD about it," Jerry Schmetterer, spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, said Tuesday.

 

Bus and subway workers were spat upon 145 times between January and October — about 14 times a month, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There were 139 salivary assaults during the same time period last year.

 

Incidents of riders expectorating on transit workers have long been a source of frustration and anger for the civil service workforce, which feels it has received little respect - and less protection.

 

Bus drivers, subway conductors and other “frontline” employees who interact with riders say they bear the brunt of the rage over fare hikes, service cuts and other transit inconveniences.

 

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office said it would research the possibility of a DNA initiative after learning transit police in Boston are starting one. The MTA and NYPD didn’t respond to requests for comment.

 

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police will swab and preserve for testing saliva from spit-firing straphangers, authority Police Chief Paul MacMillian said. Samples will be analyzed at police labs. Technicians will check for matches with the DNA of convicted criminals in a state database, authorities said.

 

“The message is two-fold,” MacMillan said. “To the offender, we’re not going to tolerate this. We take any assault on our employees very serious and we’re going to do all that we can to identify and prosecute you.

 

“And the other message, to our employees, is we care about you and want to protect you the best we can,” MacMillian said.

 

Transit agencies in Scotland and London have distributed DNA kits to transit workers to preserve saliva samples for analysis. The strategy has led to arrests, convictions and fewer assaults on transit staffers, authorities said.

 

TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said he raised the issue of DNA kits with former MTA Chairman Jay Walder about a year ago but nothing happened. He plans on raising it with the new administration.

 

"Our bus operators are spat upon with unnerving frequency," Samuelsen. "The MTA should be taking every single step it can to protect bus operators and this would be a positive step."

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This whole thing seems like a joke to me....I have a habitual fare beater on the Q19 on Sundays and I called up the command and they said let em ride for free.....they need to take a better stance on this.....people that don't pay should be removed from the bus.....it would end all this crap with spitting on the bus / train operators.....look at how they enforce...or try to enforce train hoppers.....should be no difference on the bus....

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Anyone that spits in the face of any transit worker should be severely beaten by all working crew at that station. And that's a fact... Jack.

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Lol also.... Just another thing we need to carry. Like we dont carry enough crap. I can see the TSS salivating at the thought you forgot your DNA swab kit at home.

 

They better put the DNA kit in the operating position. This will be sick if they make us carry this thing.

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This whole thing seems like a joke to me....I have a habitual fare beater on the Q19 on Sundays and I called up the command and they said let em ride for free.....they need to take a better stance on this.....people that don't pay should be removed from the bus.....it would end all this crap with spitting on the bus / train operators.....look at how they enforce...or try to enforce train hoppers.....should be no difference on the bus....

why not just skip his fare beating ass??? he doesn't pay why stop for him??? just put NOT IN SERVICE sign up as soon as you see him.

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Anyone that spits in the face of any transit worker should be severely beaten by all working crew at that station. And that's a fact... Jack.

 

And what do you propose to stop the incidents? You have to catch the individual first before you can even beat him/her...

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Not all assaults are over the fare. Just sayin'...

 

For instance, today the buses were running late, but I was able to get the S89. When we got to Walker Street, I saw the S46 closing the doors and figured that when he saw me running (especially considering I was making a transfer), he'd open the door. I tapped on the door and he refused to let me on (even after I shouted out that I had just came from the S89). I tried to pry the doors open and started working my body inside the bus, so finally he opened the doors and let me walk in like a human being.

 

Obviously, I'm not the type of person to physically assault somebody, but the point is that if he had done that to the wrong person, he could've been seriously injured. To be honest, I wouldn't blame the passenger, though of course I wouldn't approve of assauting the driver.

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why not just skip his fare beating ass??? he doesn't pay why stop for him??? just put NOT IN SERVICE sign up as soon as you see him.

 

It sounds about right.......

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I was just hanging in DD and someone was telling me they just came off a Q88 new Nova bus and it had a partition for the driver....he said it was all glass and nobody can touch the driver.....sounds looonnggggg over do....but I like the idea of carrying a DNA swab kit.....look what it has done for Europe....less assaults....

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Let me get this straight.they want to use DNA to convict someone that spits on a transit worker. But someone that has already assaulted a bus operator get's a plea deal of 6 months anger management classes and probation mean while the sticker right over my head says felony 7 years. Give me a break, so what happens when they get the perp. Spend all this money on a test then give him 40 hours of community service. What they need to do is what Giuliani did with the city back in the 90's . He went after the small infractions which deterred people from doing real crimes. Have a special team of police officers that just combat fare beaters on buses. If a criminal knows there is chance that they might get busted and enforce a penalty or jail time for not pay the fare that just one less threat for me to worry about.

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For instance, today the buses were running late, but I was able to get the S89. When we got to Walker Street, I saw the S46 closing the doors and figured that when he saw me running (especially considering I was making a transfer), he'd open the door. I tapped on the door and he refused to let me on (even after I shouted out that I had just came from the S89). I tried to pry the doors open and started working my body inside the bus, so finally he opened the doors and let me walk in like a human being.

 

After the knock & the initial non-opening of the door, I would've chalked it up as an L' on my part and waited for the next bus... I've even had to resort to doing that during busfans out in the middle of suburbia where bus connections & headways aren't the greatest... sucks, I know.....

 

I've seen someone's foot get ran over doing that (tryna pry open bus doors while stalled at a traffic light)....

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After the knock & the initial non-opening of the door, I would've chalked it up as an L' on my part and waited for the next bus... I've even had to resort to doing that during busfans out in the middle of suburbia where bus connections & headways aren't the greatest... sucks, I know.....

 

I've seen someone's foot get ran over doing that (tryna pry open bus doors while stalled at a traffic light)....

 

The good thing about that area is that Morningstar Road is narrow, so if worse came to worse, I could've ran over to the next stop and got on there, but I figured trying to open the doors would make him remember that for next time so it doesn't happen again (since I leave home at roughly the same time every day, there's a good chance I'd get the driver again)

 

But when I try to do it, I'm always careful about things like that happening (the bus running over my foot or something), but thanks for the concern (seriously, thanks).

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