An MTA subway cleaner underwent surgery on Friday after being attacked Thursday morning, according to TWU Local 100 Stations vice president Robert Kelley.
According to police, Anthony Nelson was working inside the station when someone told him that people were being harassed outside the station. He rushed to help and was thrown to the ground by the suspect, injuring his right shoulder.
Police said Alexander Wright, 49, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and one count of harassment.
According to TWU, Nelson had a broken nose and collarbone. His family said Nelson is in physical and emotional pain and may need another surgery on Monday.
Nelson’s family and city officials are concerned and outraged by the attack.
“It’s a station with homeless people, so they should have had more security at the station,” said mother Lisa Nelson.
“We need to stop these assaults. Our people didn’t come to this job to go to the hospital. We came here to carry people to work.”
The mayor, who visited Nelson’s family to express his support, issued a statement stressing that the criminal justice system needs to hold people accountable.
“Our streets must be safe. We make laws for those who commit crimes. We make sure we pass laws and do the right thing for the innocent people in this city.” The time has come,” he said.