“Criminal justice reform”: “Fare-beaters” on the NYC subway system arrested, found in possession of handguns


NEW YORK CITY, NY – According to a report from the New York Post, New York Police Department (NYPD) officers have been busy busting subway “fare-beaters” in an effort to keep people safe during the holiday season.

Police said that within one week, four subway fare beaters were arrested and guns were recovered from each of them, including an ex-convict who was packing two loaded pistols.

On Tuesday, December 6th, 28-year-old Damien Trinidad, who had been out of state prison for only four months, was arrested after getting into a scuffle with transit cops at the Broadway and East New York subway station in Brooklyn.

He was initially stopped for a fare-beating incident, until a “ghost gun” was spotted in his waistband and a second firearm wrapped in a bandana fell from his pants when he tried to run away.

Trinidad, who was also charged with drug possession with intent to sell, was arrested as the first of a recent string of fare-beating busts leading to additional weapons charges. A veteran cop said in a statement:

“Four arrests and five guns off the street out of the transit system in the last week because of cops enforcing quality-of-life offenses.” 

He added:

“It’s not rocket science. It’s proven time and again that crime enforcement, including fare evasion, leads to dangerous individuals being taken off the streets and out of the system for much more violent crimes, including carrying illegal guns.”

On Monday, December 11th, at a City Council hearing, Michael Kemper, NYPD’s acting chief of transit, said that the arrests highlight the importance of cracking down on rampant fare jumping in the subways. He added:

“Ninety-seven percent of individuals that are stopped for fare evasion walk away minutes later with a single summons. Only three percent are arrested. Most likely they are wanted and have active warrants.”

He said:

“Some of them are wanted for very serious crimes — murder, rape, some of them are possessing firearms.”


As for fare-evaders, Kemper said that, “It’s a free for all,” adding:

“A lot of people aren’t paying. I was in full uniform when people were going through the turnstiles without paying. People were asking me to help them go through without paying, hold the door for them.”

He said:

“Those are the facts. Just in relation to fare evasion. It’s my opinion, our opinion, public safety beings the minute a customer enters the subway system.”

Agreeing with what Kemper said, NYPD Inspector Raymond Porteus said that the recent rash of fare-beater busts are far from the first to help thwart more serious crimes. He noted when speaking to council members:

“Some heinous crimes. Back in September in East New York, Brooklyn … on the J [train, I] stopped an individual for walking through the gate and put it through the computer and out he was wanted by the 75th Precinct.”

He added:

“For what? For shooting somebody and killing them. He shot a person in the head on the sidewalk in June. He was brought back to the 75th Precinct and they arrested that individual.”

Sources familiar with the recent incidents said that all of the weapons seized from far-beating riders were loaded, including the so called “ghost gun.”

Trinidad was ordered held on a $100,000 bail. On Wednesday, December 7th, cops at the Rockaway Avenue Station in Brooklyn charged 28-year-old Shaliek Jefferson with possession of a .22 caliber handgun after he allegedly tried to skip out on the subway fare.

The criminal complaint states that Jefferson was allegedly smoking marijuana has he snuck through the emergency gate at the station and was spotted with a gun. He has been ordered on a $50,000 cash bail or a $100,000 bond.

Records indicate that Jefferson has a rap sheet that includes an assault charge in April for allegedly slashing a Brooklyn bodega worker in the face during a dispute.

Prosecutors said that suspect Keenan Grant, who is 31-years-old, told cops that “the machine wasn’t working” when he was allegedly spotted going through the emergency gate at the Bedford Park No. 4 train station.

The officers searched his backpack and allegedly found a loaded 9 mm handgun. Grant was arraigned and ordered held on $15,000 cash bail or bond.

The final arrest came when police arrested Hunter Kyle Borges at a Broadway G-line station in Brooklyn. He allegedly used a transit key to open the gate at the station shortly before 6:40 a.m., and was found with a gun inside his jacket.

All four suspects were charged with gun possession. Another police source said in a statement:

“Thankfully we’re still doing enforcement and real police work. It’s textbook. It works.”
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