Victim of MBTA assault speaks out

To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.

January 7, 2014, 10:55 pm
Print Article

(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Boston) - Chris Johsnon was standing on a Red Line platform in Andrew Square when he was attacked and several surveillance cameras caught it all.

"He should be able to talk to me man to man and tell me what motivated him to do what he did to me," Johnson said.

Johnson was holding his cane, waiting for a bus with several others at the Andrew Square t-station in South Boston late Saturday night.

He saw a young man about to sit down where many pigeons had sat before, warned him about what was left behind on the bench, and then, out of nowhere, he was attacked.

"He hits me across the chest, strikes me across the chest with the cane. And I was more stunned than I was hurt," Johnson said.

Transit police wanted everyone to see this video, to look at this face.

And enough people did on their website, on Twitter, and on TV because at about 1 p.m., they took 20-year-old Miguel Velasquez into custody in Watertown.

The Dorchester man faces charges of unarmed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against a disabled person.

"We're really happy that we were able to get tips to lead us to this individual and hope it brings comfort to the victim. One of the things that do come up with people in the disability community was that they think this type of thing may go on and victims don't feel comfortable coming to the police," said Supt. Joe O'Connor of the MBTA Transit Police.

Chris Johnson has Cerebral Palsy and typically uses a cane to make his way around. Though his was stolen, he has several others.

Fortunately, he wasn't hurt. But for him, that's not what this is all about.

"I have no ill will towards him. None whatsoever, I don't have any ill will towards a person on the face of the planet. If he needs the help, mentally or whatever, he needs to get his help," Johnson said.

Johnson is even hoping for a face-to-face meeting, perhaps even with lawyers present.

Velazquez is set to be arraigned Wednesday in South Boston District Court.

Tags: Boston, Chris Johnson, MBTA, Josh Brogadir, Andrew Square, Miguel Velasquez
DA says the height and weight is consistent with that of Jeremiah Oliver, the 5-year-old boy missing since September
Vt. State Police say initial reports indicated someone parachuted out prior to crashing
Sean Collier was killed 1 year ago when he was sitting in his cruiser, allegedly by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects