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NFTA addresses safety concerns following metro rail train incidents

“We hope to minimize the occurrence that has taken place.”
Posted at 6:01 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 18:01:50-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The NFTA has plans to implement some strategies to reduce violent attacks at several metro rail stations.

It follows two violent attacks so far this year.

Earlier this month, a 53-year-old man was stabbed to death at the Utica Station on Main Street.

In January, a 67-year-old man who later died was attacked at the Amherst Street Station.

Two 16-year-olds face charges over that attack.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says the two teens used excessive deadly force.

One of them used his brass knuckles to attack the man, while the other used his foot to stomp him repeatedly.

Flynn says if the autopsy reports of the deceased come back that he died from those injuries, the two 16-year-olds may face more than expected.

“If the cause of death comes back where I can prove beyond reasonable doubt that in the court of law that there was a homicide here, then they’re really going to have some problems,” Flynn says.

The NFTA chief of police, Brian Patterson, says the department has 85 officers who have been given tasks to keep riders safe and meet their needs.

“In the future, even presently, you’ll see a combination of us working with community stakeholders, schools, and others that understand these issues,” Patterson says. “What you’ll find with this collaboration is that we hope we minimize the occurrence that has taken place.”

Increased security on the metro rail has riders like Stephanie Chapman expressing the desperate need for it.

“We usually stay on top until you know we hear the train coming just so we can have that peace of mind in case we have to flee or call for safety,” Chapman says. “It’s a little bit more accessible like that because once you’re down here, there’s nowhere to go.”

Patterson says he can reassure the public their safety has always been the department’s number one safety.

“We have 6 to ten officers at any given time, and again, that’s a range, but more importantly, we have a coverage that meets the need,” he says.