The MARTA Police Department has apprehended a pair of suspects allegedly involved in a fight on a train last week that was captured by witnesses on video and posted online. The two victims in the case have told local media the fight was result of them being transgender.
Within the last 48 hours, Luther L. Thomas, 34, and Frederick L. Missick, 35, both of Atlanta, have been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the May 20, incident that occurred about 11 p.m. on a southbound train en route to Oakland City Station.
The suspects are being held at the Fulton County Jail and have been suspended from MARTA for violating "Ride with Respect," the transit systemâ€™s code of conduct policy. More serious charges against the suspects are possible.
MARTA has pursued this case aggressively but the investigation has been hampered by a lack of witnesses willing to come forward. Police officers who later responded to the scene were unable to get statements from the victims and subsequent attempts to interview them were also unsuccessful.
MARTA is a safe and secure transit system and assaults of any type are rare. As part of its core mission, MARTA is committed to providing quality transit service to all customers regardless of race, creed, religion, age, disability, ethnicity or sexual preference.
"MARTA does not condone and will not tolerate this type of behavior," said Keith T. Parker, MARTAâ€™s GM/CEO. "I can assure you that weâ€™re taking this matter very seriously."
In the wake of this unfortunate incident, MARTAâ€™s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is strengthening outreach efforts to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community to affirm the agencyâ€™s staunch support for the principles of tolerance, inclusion and equal treatment under the law.