NEWARK, NJ -- The New Jersey Transit Police Department has arrested two people in separate cases of aggravated assault on NJ TRANSIT employees while they were performing their workplace duties.
40-year-old Sakinah Brydie, of Newark, N.J., has been charged with aggravated assault on a bus operator, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), and failure to give a controlled dangerous substance to police.
At approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday, January 20, Brydie boarded an NJ TRANSIT bus at the intersection of Broad and Market streets in Newark and, after a brief exchange of words with the bus operator, threw a hot cup of coffee in the operator’s face, causing minor facial burns. She then exited the bus.
Brydie was arrested a short distance away from the scene by the New Jersey Transit Police Department. During processing, a small packet containing a CDS was discovered in her possession.
The operator was treated and released at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark for her injuries.
Brydie received summonses for the aggravated assault, possession of CDS and failure to forfeit CDS to police. She was released on her own recognizance.
In a separate incident, on Monday, January 23, at approximately 11:15 a.m., 33-year-old Michael Grella, of Linden, N.J., was arrested and charged with assaulting a NJ TRANSIT train conductor.
Grella, was on board a North Jersey Coast Line train when he had a verbal dispute with a male conductor regarding the fare. Upon exiting the train at the South Amboy Train Station, Grella shoved the conductor in the chest. New Jersey Transit Police were called to the station, and Grella was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
During processing, it was discovered that Grella had outstanding warrants from Linden and Essex County and he was additionally charged with hindering apprehension.
The conductor in Monday’s incident refused medical treatment.
“NJ TRANSIT will not tolerate any type of assault on an employee,’’ said NJ TRANSIT’s Executive Director Steven H. Santoro. “We will work with our local law enforcement partners to ensure these and other acts like them are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’’
If convicted, Brydie faces up to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Grella faces up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if he is convicted.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 944,000 weekday trips on 254 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.