An MTA employee ended up behind bars after refusing to open up a security gate for NYPD officers in pursuit of a shoplifting suspect, according to the New York Daily News.
Police officers and security guards at a Midtown CVS were chasing after a shoplifter who entered the Columbus Circle station Tuesday night around 8:30 pm when the suspect jumped over the turnstyle and kept on running.
Officers asked token booth clerk Darryl Goodwin, 54, to open the security gate. A lieutenant asked Goodwin to open the gate twice, but both times, Goodwin ignored him and refused to open the gate. After asking a third time to open the gate and holding up his badge to the glass, Goodwin “slowly moved his hand to push the button to open the gate,” according to a criminal complaint.
Another group of officers arrived at the station but were refused entry from Goodwin. By the time Goodwin opened the gate, it was too late and the shoplifter had gotten away, according to authorities.
The officers returned to the station and asked for Goodwin’s identification, but he refused and tried to leave the booth, according to police. When the officers stopped him, Goodwin pulled out his badge and held it up to the lieutenant’s face, according to police. The officer grabbed the badge and pushed it away, cutting his hand in the process.
Goodwin was arrested and charged with obstructing government administration, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
He was released without bail after his arraignment Wednesday and is due back in court on June 29. The MTA suspended Goodwin without pay pending an investigation.
“He’s an exemplary employee… not a passenger complaint in the past 20 years,” Derick Echevarria, vice president of stations for the Transit Workers Union, told the New York Daily News. “It’s a misunderstanding on the police’s part.”