Two Suspects Carry Out ‘Brutal’ Assault on MBTA Employee

They're facing Civil Rights violations after using racial slurs to describe the victim, and why they allegedly attacked.

Images via MBTA Police

Images via MBTA Transit Police

A man and a woman are facing assault and battery charges and Civil Rights violations after they allegedly attacked an MBTA employee who was trying to close down the Downtown Crossing station early Sunday morning.

According to an MBTA Transit Police report, Shayla Witts, 28, and her boyfriend, Robert Snyder, 45, were arrested around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, after they reportedly brutally assaulted a T inspector.

Police said when they arrived at the scene of the attack the transit employee was being transported to the hospital to treat injuries consistent with being repeatedly punched.

The victim told police that while he was closing down the Downtown Crossing station on the Orange Line side, as part of his duties, he escorted Witts and Snyder, who were allegedly intoxicated, out of the building. The T employee said that’s when Snyder “sucker punched” him and then “put him in a bear hug.”

While Snyder held onto the victim, Witts allegedly began punching his head and ripping his hair out. Transit Police said outside of the station they found “several hair extensions and fresh blood, spreading across an area approximately 30 feet in length.”

The victim, who is black, identified the suspects as he was being transported to Tufts Medical Center to treat his injuries.

The report said that while officers interviewed Witts and Snyder, they repeatedly used racial slurs to describe the victim and three other T employees who were present when the attack occurred. Police claim Witts said “her man” had “done 17 years in prison, and doesn’t take shit from n*****s.”

“She also stated she, ‘isn’t down with the n*****s,’” police said in the report.

An MBTA spokesman said besides charges of aggravated assault and battery on an MBTA employee, and simple assault and battery, the couple is facing charges of Civil Rights violations. Witts and Snyder will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Monday.