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Investment banker Jean-Francois Coste arrested after punching MTA worker

A drunk investment banker punched an MTA worker repeatedly in an unprovoked attack at a Brooklyn subway station Friday morning and was arrested, officials said. 

Jean-Francois Coste, 53, was in the Stillwell Avenue station on Coney Island around 12:15 a.m. when he punched the 56-year-old operator as she began her shift, cops said.

Tanya McCray, 56, was leaving the “crew room” on the public mezzanine when she saw Coste – a senior equity analyst at Tocqueville Asset Management – trying to get inside, a TWU Local 100 spokesman said.

“It’s not a public area,” the union spokesman said. “He was apparently drunk. She pushed the door so it clicks and locks and he punched her in the face at least twice.”

McCray, a 21-year veteran of the MTA and train operator, fought back and began striking Coste with her lunch bag, which had a thermos inside, the spokesman said. After another transit worker came to her aid, the banker ran away down the train platform. 

A drunk Jean-Francois Coste punched Tanya McCray in the face “at least twice.”
Instagram/@jfcoste

“All the workers from the crew room come out and run after him,” the spokesman said. “He jumped on a train and the transit workers cornered him.”

Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Terminal.
The assault happened at the Stillwell Avenue station on Coney Island.
AP
Tanya McCray.
Tanya McCray was leaving the crew room on the public mezzanine when she saw Coste trying to get inside.
Facebook/Tanya Hinton McCray

Coste was arrested and charged with assaulting a transit employee, harassment and menacing. He was released without bail and his next court date was set for March. 

McCray said she was taken off-guard by the attack.

“I didn’t see him punch me,” she said. “I didn’t see the punch, it happened so fast.’

Jean-Francois Coste.
Jean-Francois Coste was arrested and charged with assaulting a transit employee, harassment and menacing.
Tocqueville Asset Management L.P.

McCray, who suffered bruises and was taken to a local hospital, said she hopes her attacker is punished. 

“I just hope justice is served,” McCray said. “I hope he sees jail time. It’s not fair that people think they can just assault us and it’s ok. It’s not ok. We’re just here to do our job.”

The Transit Workers Union plans to make a show of force at Coste’s court hearing, the spokesman said.

Richard Davis, president of TWU Local 100, said the public “should be treating transit workers as heroes, not punching bags.

“Time and time again we’ve stepped up for this city, most recently working through the pandemic, and this is the thanks we get. It has to stop. We will see this guy in court.”

NYC Transit Chief Operating Officer Craig Cipriano said the MTA has “zero tolerance” for assaults on its workers.

“Train operators work at all hours of the day and night to keep this city moving,” he said. “We have zero tolerance when they are senselessly attacked and are grateful to the NYPD for swiftly apprehending the suspect.”

Coste could not be immediately reached for comment.

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