Veteran transit cop allegedly assaulted, threatened railroad ticket agents
Transit Police Officer James Floyd was only minutes into his paid detail shift at North Station last month when he allegedly walked up behind an unsuspecting commuter rail ticket agent, grabbed her by the shoulders, and thrust his pelvis into her buttocks.
The young woman was captured on surveillance video walking away in shock, according to court documents, before returning to confront the 22-year department veteran. In response, Floyd, 60, offered her a knife and suggested she could stab him, then threatened her with his baton, prosecutors said. Minutes later, he allegedly repeated the attack on another young woman.
Floyd was arrested Friday morning and pleaded not guilty shortly afterward in Boston Municipal Court to two counts of indecent assault and battery, one count of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and one count of intimidation of a witness.
Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum requested a bail of $10,000, but Judge Thomas Horgan released him on personal recognizance and ordered Floyd to stay away from the victims and the commuter rail stations where they work.
Both of his alleged victims, ticket agents with Keolis, reported the alleged March 29 assaults to their supervisors immediately. MBTA police officials sent Floyd home that day from his paid detail for Keolis, the agency that operates the commuter rail.
In short order, Transit Police opened an investigation, and witnesses and surveillance video corroborated details of the women’s account.
Floyd resigned his position April 6 to avoid facing termination, according to a person with knowledge of the events.
Floyd has had two complaints lodged against him in the past for making sexual remarks to women while he was working, according to a person with knowledge. One complaint, made in 2010, was not sustained, the person said; Floyd was found responsible in the second complaint in 2016.
His attorney, Claudia Lagos, said her client had a long and decorated history as a police officer, starting in 1986 in Winthrop and later in the Transit Police. He had received several awards, she said, and was honored for saving the life of a man who had been stabbed. His extended family is full of police officers and firefighters, she said.
“This is a 60-year-old man, no record, no defaults, and he couldn’t possibly have deeper ties to the community,” Lagos said.
In court Friday morning, Floyd stood with his head down as Polumbaum recited the charges.
The alleged attacks began just after 3 p.m. on March 29, when Floyd was captured on surveillance camera allegedly thrusting his body into a 22-year-old woman. After he released her, she walked away “upset and stunned,” and could be seen on camera talking to herself and holding her face in her hands, according to court documents.
She walked back to Floyd, told him that he was disrespectful to her as a woman, and said she didn’t even know him. Floyd allegedly told her he thought she was his “other” girlfriend.
“If this was my neighborhood, I would defend myself against you,” she told him, according to court documents.
Next, Floyd allegedly held out a pocket knife and told her to go ahead and stab him and get revenge, according to court documents. The woman told investigators she asked Floyd to leave her alone or she would report him.
Floyd then allegedly snapped open his baton and looked directly into her eyes “with a menacing stare” and smacked the baton against the ground, according to court documents.
The woman, afraid that she would be assaulted, found her supervisor and reported the encounter. As she spoke to her supervisor, Floyd stood nearby and stared at them, she told investigators.
About 15 minutes after the first alleged assault, Floyd was captured on a different security camera, walking up to another Keolis ticket agent.
He leaned in to the 23-year-old and told her: “I thought you were the other girl . . . she is mad at me . . . this is what happened,” according to court documents. He then allegedly circled around so he was facing her from behind and pushed his midsection into her buttocks.
The second woman reported the assault to her supervisors.
Floyd was immediately removed from the detail, and Transit Police launched an investigation.
“Transit Police officers are held to highest standards of professional conduct and the overwhelming majority of TPD officers are dedicated hard working public servants,” the MBTA Transit Police said in a released statement. “We in law enforcement derive our legitimacy not through laws or [statutes] but rather by the very people we are sworn to serve. This arrest demonstrates the value we place on legitimacy bestowed upon us by the public.”