NJ Transit police charge two in separate assault incidents

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NEWARK, NJ — The NJ Transit Police Department has arrested two people in separate cases of aggravated assault on NJ Transit employees while they were performing their workplace duties, according to a recent release from NJ Transit.

Sakinah Brydie, 40, of Newark has been charged with aggravated assault on a bus operator, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and failure to give a controlled dangerous substance to police.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, Brydie boarded an NJ Transit bus at the intersection of Broad and Market streets in Newark and, after a brief exchange of words with the bus operator, allegedly threw a hot cup of coffee in the operator’s face, causing minor facial burns. She then exited the bus.

Brydie was arrested a short distance away from the scene by the NJ Transit Police Department. During processing, a small packet of drugs was reportedly discovered in her possession. Brydie was eventually released on her own recognizance.

The operator was treated at and released from St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark for her injuries.

In a separate incident, on Monday, Jan. 23, at approximately 11:15 a.m., Michael Grella, 33, of Lindenwas arrested and charged with assaulting an NJ Transit train conductor.

Grella was on board a North Jersey Coast Line train when he allegedly had a verbal dispute with a male conductor regarding the fare. Upon exiting the train at the South Amboy Train Station, Grella allegedly shoved the conductor in the chest. NJ Transit police were called to the station, and Grella was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
During processing, it was discovered that Grella had outstanding warrants for his arrest out of Linden and Essex County; he was additionally charged with hindering apprehension.

The conductor in the Jan. 23 incident refused medical treatment.

“NJ Transit will not tolerate any type of assault on an employee,” NJ Transit Executive Director Steven H. Santoro said in a press release. “We will work with our local law enforcement partners to ensure these and other acts like them are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

If convicted, Brydie faces up to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. If convicted, Grella faces up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

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