“Most cops are good and they don’t run” ?! Surely they jest.
The off-duty officer who apparently attacked a rookie subway conductor on a Bronx platform last month — then was videotaped running from the station — didn’t immediately flee on foot. He first tried to make his escape by subway, the conductor said.
Officer Mirjan Lolja was still throttling the 28-year-old transit worker at the Tremont Ave. station when a B train arrived at approximately 2:30 a.m. Dec. 23, she said. Lolja only stopped when he heard the downtown local screeching to a stop, she said.
He walked into one of the cars, she said.
“I believe the only thing that saved me was the train coming into the station,” the conductor told the Daily News.
But the plucky rookie, whose name The News is withholding, wasn’t satisfied with just being saved. After reporting the assault to the subway command center by radio, she yelled instructions to another transit worker on the platform: “Don’t let the train conductor shut the train doors!”
Closed doors send a signal to the motorman that it’s OK to depart.
“I didn’t want him to get away,” the conductor said, referring to Lolja.
Riders on the train, meanwhile, had Lolja on the hot seat. While they didn’t see the alleged attack, they heard enough to surmise he did something wrong. They’ve seen the MTA ads warning that assaulting a transit worker is punishable by up to seven years in prison. They started yelling at Lolja, the conductor said.
“That’s a felony!”
“You going to jail.”
Lolja got up and ran up the station stairs to the street. The conductor gave chase but was hobbled.
“I can’t run,” she said. “I’m in too much pain. I get up to the top and he’s nowhere in sight.”
The conductor said Lolja became irate and belligerent on the platform when informed that he’d have to wait 20 minutes for the next train because of a service change.
At one point, he demanded the conductor call the command center to learn the exact location of the nearest train, she said. He also demanded the transit workers’ names, which they are not supposed to reveal, and followed them around the platform, sticking his cellphone “in our faces,” the conductor said.
“I don’t know if he was doing video or taking pictures, but it was one or the other,” she said. “He was so in my face, when I put my hands up to block him, his phone fell. I went to shield my face because I didn’t know what he was going to do. I just wanted to get out of this man’s way.”
Police on Wednesday released a video showing a man running from the Tremont Ave. station with a smirk on his face. He was a suspect in the attack, police said, asking the public to call them with tips about his identity.
On Thursday, six days after the incident, Mirjan walked into a precinct and told other officers he was the man in the video. He claimed the conductor started the confrontation by grabbing his cellphone.
He hasn’t been charged, but odds are that he will. Most cops are good and they don’t run.