(WHDH) — A commuter rail conductor caught on camera attacking a passenger on a platform. Now, he’s off the job – and 7News has the exclusive video.
The video lasts only ten seconds. But those ten seconds have left a Keolis conductor suspended without pay, and the company investigating what happened.
“I think it’s unacceptable. I think it’s ridiculous,” said Edward Cooke, an MBTA commuter rail passenger.
“(It) seemed like he got out of control pretty quick,” said Jeff McFarland, another commuter rail passenger.
From the video, it appears the altercation took place on a commuter rail platform in North Leominster. It’s unclear exactly when it happened, but the video was posted on Youtube in March 2017.
The person who shot the video wanted to remain anonymous. But he told 7News that it’s his friend being attacked by the conductor.
The person filming said it started when his friend plugged in a charger on board the train and the wire stretched across the center aisle. He said the conductor had a problem with that, and it led to a verbal altercation between the two.
Once they got off the train in North Leominster, the fight turned physical.
The video shows the conductor putting his arms around the man’s neck and trying to tackle him to the ground. Other bystanders move in on the fight – one of them, also recording the incident with a cell phone.
It’s over in a matter of seconds, and the video ends there.
Keolis is saying little about the investigation, describing it as a personnel matter. But it has confirmed that the conductor in that video has been removed from service, and that, “This very serious incident remains under investigation.”
The company added that the safety of its passengers is always its top priority.
The MBTA, which pays Keolis to run the commuter rail, told 7News, “MBTA Railroad Operations is in close communication with Keolis regarding this incident, and supports the swift actions taken to date. After Keolis completes their investigation, it will be forwarded to MBTA Railroad Operations for review.”
Some passengers want serious consequences.
“It’s never OK for a conductor to get physical with a passenger,” Cooke said.
The conductor’s union representative declined to discuss the incident, but said the conductor has been a model employee for more than a decade, with no disciplinary history.
(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)