MTA subway cleaner assaulted by harassment suspect in the Bronx
An MTA cleaner was beaten as he stopped a man harassing women outside a Bronx subway station and held the suspect for cops, authorities said Friday.
Anthony Nelson, 35, was sprucing up the Pelham Bay Park station — the last stop on the No. 6 line — about 9:30 a.m. Thursday when a straphanger told him that someone was bothering women outside the station, police said.
Nelson went downstairs and stepped out of the elevated station to get a description of the unhinged man, but didn’t see anyone, his mother, Lisa Nelson, 55, told the Daily News.
“Then he was hit from behind,” his mom said. “He was ambushed.”
Nelson, a father of four, slammed onto the sidewalk, where he busted his nose and right shoulder, cops said.
When the suspect, Alexander Wright, pounced again, Nelson and another station cleaner, Douglas Scott, grabbed the 49-year-old Harlem man and held onto him until police arrived.
“If not for Nelson’s co-worker … who knows what could have happened,” said Robert Kelley, vice president of TWU Local 100, which represents transit employees. “He was a hero.”
Wright was charged with assault and harassment.
Nelson was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he was treated for a broken nose, collar bone and other fractures, his mother said.
“He just got out of surgery,” his mother said Friday. “He’s upset, he’s crying. He keeps saying ‘I got hit from behind.’”
Mayor Adams was photographed visiting Nelson on Friday evening.
Last year, the New York Knicks named Nelson a “pandemic hero” for cleaning train stations during the lockdown, his proud mom remembered.
“He was on television and his picture was on the Sky Box,” she said. “He loves his job.”
Nelson applied for work at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority when he was a teen, but worked at Cablevision for several years before becoming a station cleaner, where he is regarded as a model employee, union heads said.
Kelley wants the Bronx District Attorney to throw the book at Wright..
Kelley called Nelson a “model employee” who was working an overtime shift to help out with the personnel shortfalls in the MTA when he was attacked.
“He’s an all hands on deck guy who wants to help things work and make the situation better,” Kelley said. “His job is not to be security or a punching bag.”