Fare-Beating Teen Shatters Jaw Of Off-Duty Court Officer
A teenage fare-beater broke an off-duty court officer’s jaw in a Bronx subway station, police said Wednesday.
Officer William Gibson, 44, was buzzed into the service gate at the 161st Street - Yankee Stadium station when George Yates slipped in behind him at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, cops said.
When Gibson confronted him, Yates, 16 — who was released from Rikers a day earlier — punched the officer in the face, and pummeled him to the ground, police said.
With several loose teeth dangling and blood pouring from his mouth from a broken jaw, Gibson, managed to hold Yates until cops arrived, prosecutors said.
“What are you doing, you've got to pay the fare?” Gibson told the teen, sources said, then added, “I'm an officer."
Yates responded by repeatedly punching Gibson in the face, officials said.
Gibson then tried to fend Yates off with pepper spray, but the teen deflected it, knocked him to the ground, then kept on punching him while he “was lying vulnerable on the ground," Assistant District Attorney Brendan McArdle said.
A passerby pulled the teen off Gibson, who took out his off-duty gun and his shield, and ordered him to the floor, sources said.
McArdle called Gibson’s injuries “horrific,” and said he was bleeding profusely after the attack — “‘Profusely’ being an understatement in this case.”
All in all, Gibson suffered three fractures to his jawbone and lost several teeth, and suffered "extensive" injuries to his upper teeth — many of which may not be salvageable, McArdle said. He is scheduled for surgery at 10:00 a.m. Thursday.
Yates, a Harlem resident, has been arrested 11 times, and was hospitalized as an emotionally disturbed person twice last March and June, sources said.
He still faces felony attempted assault cases after a domestic violence arrest from January, when he threw a metal shower rod at a male relative’s eye, prosecutors said.
On Saturday, he was charged with disobeying a judge’s order, sources said. He was released from Rikers Island on Monday.
Almost 100 court officers packed the benches at Yates’s arraignment Wednesday and spilled out into the corridor to watch the teen, who wore faded orange and black jeans with diamanté encrusted back pockets.
James Martarono, Yates’ lawyer, said he knew Gibson personally and wished him a "speedy recovery.” Yates, he said, has not been convicted in any of his arrests, and has lived with his father for 15 years.
"This is a horrific act on one of our members trying to do what was right on his way home from a hard day's work," said Patrick Cullen, the head of the New York Supreme Court Officers Association.
Judge Steven Hornstein ordered Yates held on $50,000 bond or $40,000 cash bail.