A U.S. District Court jury in Washington has ordered Metro and three of its employes to pay $168,000 to a District man who was arrested by Metro police in 1982.
The jurors agreed with Roger Heffez, 46, that he was subjected to false arrest and imprisonment and malicious prosecution for interceding in an argument between two subway riders and the station manager at the Van Ness Street stop.
Metro spokeswoman Beverly Silverberg said yesterday the transit authority may ask District Judge Harold F. Corcoran for a new trial.
Heffez's lawyer, Joseph Peter Drennan, said that on Aug. 27, 1982, two women entered the Van Ness station about 6 a.m. and were followed onto a Metro train by Station Manager Richard Williams, who criticized them for entering the station before it was open.
Heffez, who was a bell captain and concierge at a Southwest hotel at the time, told Williams to "leave the ladies alone," Drennan said.
Williams testified in the trial last week that Heffez threatened him.
On Sept. 2, Drennan said, there was a second incident involving Williams and Heffez during which, according to Williams, Heffez assaulted him by putting his finger on Williams' chest.
The next day, Sept. 3, two Metro police officers arrested Heffez as he entered the Van Ness station. Heffez was charged with assault and was held by police for about eight hours, according to Drennan.
The U.S. attorney's office subsequently dismissed the charge.