MTA Board: Ban repeat criminal offenders from subways and buses

The MTA and the police want to ban people from subways and buses who have been repeatedly arrested for committing crimes on mass transit.

NYPD Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre spoke to the MTA Board's transit and bus committee about problems with several repeat offenders, including numerous arrests for robberies, assaults, and sex offenses.

The committee then passed a resolution asking lawmakers in Albany to pass a law giving the police and the courts the power to ban repeat offenders from buses and subways.

In a statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would support such legislation.

"This is a common sense issue, and the New York State Legislature and criminal justice system have a responsibility to work with the MTA to ensure these perpetrators—who repeatedly target victims on our subways and buses—cannot continue this abhorrent behavior," Cuomo said. "I thank the members of the MTA Board for their support of this important resolution, and call on our state legislative leaders and the courts to enact the strictest penalties possible so that every rider and worker remains safe in our transit system."

Under the current law, police officers can only follow and observe a known serial criminal spotted on the subway or on a bus and can't make an arrest until they see the repeat offender commit another crime.

But MTA board member Sarah Feinberg said police need more power. She said the ban could work in a few ways.

"Once you're banned from the system... if we catch you in the system we can arrest again immediately," she said. "Your photo may be up in a booth, so a station manager can recognize you call the police."