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Conductor Files $1M Against MTA After Montauk Parade-Goer Assaults Him

Attorney says MTA has to protect conductors on 'wild' train rides.

A Long Island Rail Road conductor is seeking $1 million in damages after a drunken passenger assaulted him on the westbound train after .

Luke Beharry, a 31-year-old train conductor from Coram, filed a federal suit more than a year after he was attacked, according to Beharry's New York City lawyer Michael D. Flynn.

The train was in the Speonk area when Anthony N. Llanes, 28, went "ballistic" and struck the conductor in the head. Llanes was arrested at the Mastic-Shirley station and charged with second-degree assault on a transit employee, a felony.

The incident was reported to MTA's central control office at 9:52 p.m.

Two MTA police, who were supposed to be patrolling the train for post-parade foolery, de-boarded the train in East Hampton Village to handle another drunken passenger, Flynn said.

"The railroad has a responsibility to give a safe work environment," Flynn said on Tuesday.

The suit has been filed against the Long Island Rail Road, which is Beharry's employer, the MTA, which owns and operates the LIRR, and the man who struck Beharry. "We believe these three entities share a responsibility."

An MTA spokesperson did not immediately return a call for comment.

Beharry missed three months of work after receiving a concussion, his attorney said.

Llanes took a plea deal where the felony was dismissed and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. According to court records, he received community service and three years probation in July 2011. He is currently in First District Court on a violation of probation.

Raymond Lang, a Hauppauge-based attorney, declined to comment.

Flynn said the MTA and LIRR have to do a better job of reining in the problems after the Montauk parade, which on March 20, 2011 still started in the early afternoon and led to .

This past year, the Montauk Friends of Erin , after requests to the MTA to cancel inbound trains later in the day were denied.

Joseph Bloecker, the president of the Friends of Erin said, "This is exactly what the Friends of Erin complain about. We're just glad it didn't happen in Montauk."

Llanes had allegedly been causing a problem earlier and Beharry had calmed him down, but when he turned his back to help another passenger with a ticket problem, he was struck, according to Flynn.

Flynn said conductors have no expertise in how to deal with drunken passengers. "They have a uniform and a hat, so they are a target," he said.

"If they are going to control Penn Station and keep the booze out because of all the assaults on conductors . . .then they have to control this too," Flynn said referring to the .

"It's a license for wildness," Flynn said of the returning trains that are "packed full" of people who had been drinking at or after the St. Patrick's parade. In fact, the . Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the trains. Still, he said, "They must keep safeguards present."

About 130 law enforcement officers were on patrol in Montauk for the parade thanks to help from other agencies, including all of the East End towns and villages, the New York State Troopers, the state parks police, the MTA Police, and Suffolk County police, and county sheriff's office.

Candide08 June 06, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I guess he already filed for disability.
Ed June 09, 2012 at 01:14 PM
While it is unfortunate that the conductor was injured, it looks like the railroad did as much as could be expected. No one can prevent all criminal acts from occurring 100 percent of the time. They had provided two police officers to ride that train but unfortunately, they had to leave to take care of another problem. What more precautions could the railroad have taken?
John Brown June 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I can see the MTAPD being partially at fault - bare bones coverage and ignoring known problems has been their MO for years.
Ed June 10, 2012 at 12:28 AM
How many police officers do you think the LIRR should have had on that train? I don't know how many police officers the railroad has available for each shift. I seem to think that two per train should have been adequate.
mike hill July 23, 2012 at 02:13 AM
I am hope the FBI can cease the disability fraud of LIRR.

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