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Two arrested for smashing windows in MTA subway trains in Brooklyn; transit officials decry a troubling trend

2020-07-22

Cops have arrested two men accused of smashing windows on subway trains in Brooklyn — in one case, thanks to a Daily News photo.

The arrests point up a troubling trend of vandalism in the city subway system that has so far this year cost taxpayers $1.5 million to replace hundreds of smashed digital screens and windows, NYC Transit officials said.

Adam Traversiere, 19, of the Upper East Side, was busted July 15, three days after News reporter Brittany Kriegstein took his picture moments after he allegedly bashed out windows on two doors separating train cars on a southbound Q at the Atlantic Ave. station on Flatbush Ave. and Hanson Place. Kriegstein also took photos of the damage.

The photo was in The News July 12.

Cops said Traversiere has a number of prior arrests, including criminal mischief and possession of graffitti gear, dating from 2018. He was charged in the most recent case with criminal mischief.

The windows cost about $500 a piece, plus labor and overtime to replace the windows. The trains are also taken out of service. In all, through June 30, 485 windows have been smashed systemwide at a cost of $290,000, officials said.

Five days before Traversiere’s alleged vandalism, Juan Flores broke digital screens July 7 on a platform at the Union St. station in Brooklyn, causing $80,000 in damage. Flores, 33, was busted July 12 after cops on a routine patrol at the very same Union St. station recognized him from a wanted poster circulated by the NYPD.

Flores was also charged with criminal mischief. He has more than 20 prior arrests, including criminal mischief, burglary, petit larceny and possession of marijuana, cops said.

Through June 30, 120 digital screens have been smashed in transit this year, costing taxpayers $1.2 million, the Transit Authority said.

On July 14 alone, three different No. 7 trains were hit and a total of 47 windows were broken — a sign the problem is getting worse at a time when the transit system budget is strained because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

NYC Transit interim president Sarah Feinberg said each instance of damage to NYCTA property can cost taxpayers tens of the thousands of dollars.

“These are intentional acts that also delay every single person on the train and everyone behind,” she said. “They are costing your mom, dad, kids, your neighbors tens of thousands.

“Sometimes, there’s a vision that this is a big city and there’s some level of vandalism and New Yorkers have to put up with it,” she added. “I just don’t believe that to be the case. I think it’s important that we focus on the crimes that affect the taxpayers.”

Feinberg said the agency works with local prosecutors to pursue cases and try to obtain restitution for the damage.