WATCH: Commuter accused of assaulting NJ conductor calls him ‘N’ Word, ‘F * ggot’, More
A disturbing cell phone video on a New Jersey Transit train shows a man accused of assaulting a driver spitting hateful profanity at him.
The video was shot by Kore James of Paterson, who said he stopped recording and rushed to help the driver when things got physical at Ridgewood station.
James, a 28-year-old landscape architect, said Thomas Vitulano was already on the train to Hoboken when he arrived in Allendale on Monday afternoon.
“The conductor punching holes in the tickets was checking everyone’s ticket,” he said. “The gentleman did not have a mask and the driver asked him to please put on a mask.”
Vitulano, 30, of Mahwah, “immediately started a verbal argument with him,” James said. “They started going back and forth, back and forth, and eventually it got physical. That’s when I cut the video and ran and put the man in restraint to get him out of the driver. “
He knocked down Vitulano, he said, then “stayed on him” while calling the police.
Ridgewood officers responded to the village station and detained Vitulano for their colleagues in NJ Transit.
“You should have heard him talking to the cops,” a witness at the station told Daily Voice.
Meanwhile, an NJ Transit agent interviewed James.
WARNING: The video below contains profanity, hate speech.
The father-of-three said he started recording the 90-second video after Vitulano confronted the unidentified driver.
“Get away, bitch. Get away from the fucking,” Vitulano told her.
“Or what?” asks the driver.
“Wait till the fucking train goes, n **** r,” said Vitulano. “The whites are going to blame you.”
The conductor waves his hand to mimic the conversation. “That’s all you do,” he told Vitulano.
“Because you’re crazy,” said Vitulano, “because you kick me off the train for no reason, for no reason, right?”
“You talk shit,” replies the driver. “That’s why you’re getting fired.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Vitulano replies sarcastically. “,
“Who is the bitch?” asks the driver.
“You, nigga!” shouts Vitulano.
It then uses the “n” word again. (The story continues below)
“I’m not going to get charged for your bitchy ass,” Vitulano told the driver. “And that’s what makes you run away – because you legally have to, bitch.”
“I’m gonna screw you up – legally,” replies the driver.
“Get off the train, nigga. Get off the train,” Vitulano shouts. “Go fucking back to Haiti. I’ll stick a fucking thing in your ass.”
At this point, Vitulano lashed out at the conductor, James said. (The story continues below)
James didn’t buy hero speeches.
“In a situation like this, you don’t think so,” he said. “I just hope someone would do the same if it was my family in trouble.”
An ambulance took the driver to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood for treatment of injuries that were not considered serious, a transit spokesperson said.
Vitulano, who was treated by Ridgewood Fire Rescue staff for a cut to his ear before being taken away, remained in custody in Bergen County Jail awaiting an initial appearance in Hackensack’s Central Judicial Treatment Court .
NJ Transit police charged him with two counts of aggravated assault against a driver – one for accosting the victim and the second for spitting at him, they said – in addition to obstructing the transportation and disorderly driving.
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