Victim of MBTA Assault Speaks Out - NECN

Victim of MBTA Assault Speaks Out



    Sufferer of Cerebral Palsy was beaten at MBTA station in Andrew Square (Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014)

    (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.