Two days before Christmas, a New York City subway conductor was attacked by a “thug,” who allegedly grabbed her from behind, threw her to the floor, and attempted to choke her before fleeing the scene. The New York Daily News, which refers to the attacker as a “hulking brute,” says the attack occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on December 23.
NYPD released security video footage of the suspect, and after the man saw himself on a news report of the incident, he turned himself in, to the precinct where he works.
Read that again. He turned himself in, to the precinct where he works.
The suspect, identified as 37-year-old Mirjan Lolja, is a New York City cop, who was off duty and dressed in civilian clothes at the time of the alleged assault. Lolja allegedly attacked the MTA conductor because he was angry about having to wait 20 minutes for a train. The New York Daily News says that the conductor was taken to the hospital with minor injuries to her head, neck, and back.
No charges have yet been filed against Lolja for the attack, although he has been suspended from the police force pending an internal affairs investigation. Lolja claims that the conductor started the confrontation, after he claims she cursed at him when he asked about when the next train would arrive.
Transport workers’ union chief is outraged.
The assault has left Joe Costales fuming. Costales represents conductors at Local 100 of the Transport Workers’ Union. He tells the New York Daily News:
I’m totally outraged. We’re not safe with members of the public, and now we’re not safe from the police.
President of Local 100, John Samuelsen, agrees. Samuelsen issued a statement on Friday, that says, “The police officer who perpetrated this crime should have already been arrested.”
According to the New York Daily News, the conductor hasn’t returned to work. She still has pain in her knees, back, and scalp from the attack. She tells the paper that she feared for her life during the assault, and she still can’t believe that the suspect is a police officer.
I thought people were lying. I thought there’s no way it could be a police officer acting like that. I still can’t process it.
Lolja is a seven year veteran of the NYPD. According to WPIX, about a year ago, Lolja had a confrontation with a neighbor, who lives in the same South Bronx apartment building. The neighbor, Eric Taylor, says that Lolja didn’t believe he lived in the building, became aggressive with him, and began following him up the stairs during the early morning hours.
No one is saying that Mirjan Lolja is representative of all, or even most, police. However, this case, along with other recent cases involving alleged police misconduct, does suggest that there may be a problem with the hiring practices of some police forces, where some officers seem to have a problem with anger control.
Here’s a video report, from WPIX:
Image via screen capture