Man Charged with Pushing 70 Year-Old Station Agent onto the Tracks

 Photo: Stations VP Robert Kelley talking to Agent Narinder about his ordeal
Photo: Stations VP Robert Kelley talking to Agent Narinder about his ordeal

DECEMBER 29 -- A 27-year-old man was indicted today for allegedly pushing a 70-year-old Station Agent to the subway tracks in Brooklyn, fracturing the Agent’s spine.

The vicious attack took place approximately 2 a.m. on Dec. 24 at the Nassau Ave. subway station. Jhonathan Martinez was indicted by a grand jury in Brooklyn on assault-related felony charges for the G-line attack on SA Kumar Narinder. Martinez faces up to 15 years behind bars.

But a livid TWU Local 100 Vice President, Robert Kelley, blasted the charges as inadequate. “This was attempted murder,” Kelley said. “He pushed a 70-year-old man to the subway tracks and nearly killed him. My Agent could have been struck by a train or electrocuted if he came in contact with the third rail. This guy should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Kelley also said there needs to be more security in stations for workers, particularly during the overnight shift. “You can’t leave people out there alone to be killed,” Kelley said. “I’m very disgusted and very disappointed with the lack of protection for my members. It’s only by the grace of God that Kumar is still with us today.”

Police originally charged Martinez with second-degree assault, which carries up to 7 years in prison. Brooklyn prosecutors, however, secured an indictment on the more serious and upgraded charge of first-degree attempted assault, which carries up to 15 years in prison. “We pushed and pushed them to raise the stakes,” Kelley said. “I’m glad they did. I’m not totally satisfied but we definitely had an impact.”

The subway is supposed to be closed to the public between 1 am and 5 pm for cleaning and disinfecting. Trains operating during those hours are only to be used by first responders and transit workers showing identification. S/A Narinder, who was in the booth, informed Martinez the station was closed – but Martinez jumped the turnstile and went down to one of the platforms anyway. Minutes later, Narinder went to the platform himself to catch a train to another station to relieve another station agent. (Narinder’s job is to go to various stations and work the booth so the full-time agent can take a meal break).

When a train arrived, the conductor on board told Martinez he couldn’t ride because he wasn’t authorized. Martinez then blocked Narinder from boarding and blocked him from leaving the platform to go back to the booth. Martinez then shoved Narinder in the chest to the tracks (the train had departed). He fell on his back between the two running rails. “I was inches from the third rail,” Narinder said. “If my hand touched the third rail, I was no more. I was lucky.”

According to the criminal complaint, Martinez also told Narinder to lower his mask because he had COVID-19 and was going to give it to the Station Agent. Narinder is in a lot of pain and can barely walk, Kelley said. He suffered a fractured spine, cuts to his knees and forehead, and large bumps to the head. “Everything is bad,” Narinder said. “Everything hurts. It’s very painful.”

Responding police officers helped Narinder to the platform and arrested Martinez who remained in the station. He is being held in jail on $50,000 bail. Kelley vowed to bring other union members to future court dates to push for a felony conviction and stiff prison sentence for Martinez. Narinder has been a Station Agent for 20 years.