A 54-year-old MTA clerk landed behind bars earlier this week after he refused to open a security gate for uniformed police chasing a shoplifting suspect. According to officials, the clerk, Darryl Goodwin became physical once a lieutenant questioned him about not opening the gate.
Cops and security guards at avCVS in Midtown Manhattan chased a shoplifter into the 57th St. train station near Eighth Ave.around 8:30 p.m. The suspect hopped the gate, while NYPD Lt. Richard Khalaf waved at Goodwin who was working behind the booth to open the gate. But Goodwin didn’t acknowledge him, according to police sources. After an unsuccessful second attempt to get Goodwin to open the gate, the lieutenant reportedly ran over and “rapped his badge against the booth’s Plexiglass,” according to the NY Daily News.
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He “stared at the lieutenant for several seconds, grimaced and slowly moved his hand to push the button to open the gate” as the cop stood in front of him, according to court paperwork. Naturally, the suspect was already gone. Khalaf demanded that Goodwin show his MTA badge, but the Goodwin refused and tried to leave the booth.
Allegedly Goodwin pulled out his badge and shoved it in the lieutenant’s face.Khalaf then grabbed it, and the clerk ripped the badge out of the lieutenant’s hand, causing injury to the officer’s thumb.
Goodwin said he never saw a shoplifter as he was tending to a customer. “I was busy. They shouted ‘gate,’ but lots of people shout ‘gate,’” Goodwin told the Daily News. “They said I didn’t open the gate, but I did.” As far as the lieutenant’s injury, Goodwin said it was self-inflicted. “I guess I held it too close. The other cop pulled my arm back and I reacted… If he got cut with the badge he did it himself.”
Goodwin has been with the MTA for over 20 years and hasn’t had a single complaint.
Goodwin was charged with obstructing government administration, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. He was released without bail after arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. Goodwin is suspended from work without pay pending an internal investigation.