MTA seeking first rider ban for suspect accused of attacking subway worker

The MTA is calling on the Bronx District Attorney to request a judge-issued order banning the man who allegedly assaulted an MTA subway cleaner from the transit system for three years, the maximum penalty available under the law.

Police say Anthony Nelson was viciously assaulted by Alexander Wright after Nelson attempted to intervene as Wright harassed other straphangers at the Pelham Bay Park subway station in the Bronx.

Wright has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of felony assault.

Wright was actually caught on surveillance video last year allegedly punching an Asian woman in an unprovoked attack in Chinatown in 2021.

RELATED: Chinatown assault suspect was arrested last week on other charges

Transit Workers Union Local 100 members and MTA executives were at Wright's indictment hearing on Friday to demand justice for Nelson.

"We were outraged," MTA CEO Janno Lieber said. "The idea that somebody who is going down to protect riders. Remember what happened here, he heard that there was some kind of harassment going on. He put himself in the middle of that to try and make sure our riders were safe and then he was attacked from behind, unprovoked, brutally."

Wright, 49, is a career criminal with 40 prior arrests. Prosecutors allege that the state's bail reform laws have allowed him to repeatedly get released.