Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Rockville Metro station manager assaulted

Man charged with two counts of assault in connection to incident

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A man was charged with two counts of assault in connection to an incident Monday night during which a Rockville Metro station manager was assaulted and sent to the hospital with minor injuries, Metro Transit Police officials said.

At about 10:30 p.m., the female Metro employee was helping a man purchase a fare card from a machine, which was having mechanical problems, when the assault occurred, Steven Taubenkibel, a spokesman for the Washington Area Metro Transit Authority, said Tuesday.

As they moved on to try another machine, "words were exchanged," he said, and the man began assaulting the woman.

A second customer intervened and held the man off until police arrived, Taubenkibel said.

"He saw what was going on and got involved," Taubenkibel said.

The station manager, who has worked for Metro for about six years, sustained minor injuries to her face and hands, he said, noting that he did not know if the suspect or intervening customer were injured.

Taubenkibel said Metro Transit Police charged the man with two counts of assault — one on the station manager and one on the second customer. The suspect's name has not been released.

Robert Kirchiro of Rockville, a witness to the attack, said a crowd of approximately 30 onlookers gathered as the fight dragged on for "at least 20 minutes." He described the attacker as much larger than the second customer, but the smaller man held the attacker at bay. He said the man was punching the station manager as she was on the ground.

He added that the attacker retreated to a glass elevator, where the station manager locked him until police arrived.

Rockville City Police Chief Terrance N. Treschuk said the situation was handled in about 10 minutes and no weapons were involved.