Investment banker arrested for alleged assault of MTA worker, who fought him off with thermos


An allegedly drunk investment banker was arrested over the weekend for punching an MTA worker inside a Coney Island subway station, according to police and union officials.

Jean-Francois Coste, a 53-year-old equity analyst with the Tocqueville Asset Management, was charged with assaulting a transit worker, harassment and menacing.

Police said Coste, a Boerum Hill resident, tried to barge into the crew room inside the Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue subway station shortly after midnight on Friday.

When Tanya McCray, a 56-year-old train operator, told Coste the employee-only area was off limits, he allegedly punched her in the face at least twice.

A spokesperson for the transit workers union said McCray “got in a few licks in herself, punching Coste in self-defense and swinging her lunch bag, which contained a thermos.” The union described the attacker as “apparently intoxicated.”

Coste was apprehended at the scene, according to police, but was ordered released without bail. Inquiries to Coste’s attorney and his employer were not returned.

In a statement, NYC Transit Chief Operating Officer Craig Cipriano condemned the alleged assault while referencing another unprovoked attack on two MTA workers in Times Square over the weekend.

“We have zero tolerance for attacks on transit workers and two senseless assaults days apart on employees just trying to do their jobs for the public is outrageous,” Cipriano said. “We are grateful that the NYPD made immediate arrests in both cases, at Coney Island and Times Square, and hope the injured workers have a speedy recovery.”


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