A drunken investment banker punched an MTA officer multiple times during a wild assault at a Brooklyn subway station Friday morning and was arrested, officials said.
Jean-Francois Coste, 53, was at the Stillwell Avenue station in Coney Island around 12:15 a.m. when he punched the 56-year-old operator as he began his shift, police said.
Tanya McCray, 56, was leaving a “staff room” on the public mezzanine when she saw Coste, a senior equity analyst at Tocqueville Asset Management, trying to get in, an MTA spokeswoman said.
“It’s not a public space,” the spokesman said. “Apparently, he was drunk. He pushed the door shut and locked it and he punched her in the face at least twice.”
McCray, a 21-year veteran of the MTA and train operator, fought back and began hitting Coste with his lunch bag, which had a thermos inside, the spokesman said. After another transit worker came to his aid, the banker fled the train platform.
“All the workers in the staff room come out and run after him,” the spokesman said. “He jumped on the train and the transit workers cornered him.”
Coste was arrested and charged with assault, harassment and threats against a transit worker. He was released without bail and his next court hearing was scheduled for March.
McCray said the attack caught him off guard.
“I didn’t see him punch me,” she said. “I didn’t see the punch, it happened so fast.”
McCray, who suffered bruises and was taken to a local hospital, said he hopes his attacker will be punished.
“I just hope justice is served,” McCray said. “I hope he does jail time. It’s not fair that people think they can just attack us and that’s okay. Not good: We’re just here to do our job.”
The transit workers union plans a show of force at Coste’s court hearing, a spokeswoman said.
TWU Local 100 President Richard Davis said the public “needs to treat transit workers as heroes, not punching bags.
“Many times we have walked for this city, the last time working through an epidemic, and this is the thanks we get. It must stop. We will see this boy in court.”
Coste could not immediately be reached for comment.