Metro Transit Police are investigating after a blind man and his service dog were accosted and threatened after he apparently brushed against another passenger while boarding a crowded Red Line train during rush hour Monday morning, the transit agency said.
Police said two men or older teenagers confronted the blind rider after the train departed the Rhode Island Avenue station in the direction of Shady Grove about 7:30 a.m. According to a police report, one of the male passengers pushed the blind man and began to unleash a tirade at him, threatening him after the initial contact.
Police said a woman then intervened on the blind man’s behalf and a second man or teen joined in and began shouting obscenities at her. When the woman tried to call police, the two attackers lunged for her phone, the report said.
The woman managed to secure her phone, call police and record a skirmish that broke out between the likely suspects and another passenger as the train continued its journey, the police report said.
The attackers disembarked at Union Station, “making good their escape,” police said.
Metro Transit Police sought video footage of the incident and released the following images of the individuals suspected.
They described the attackers as black males their late teens or early 20s. One was described as having a Band-Aid under his right eye, wearing dark blue jeans with navy and white underwear visible, along with a black hooded sweatshirt. The other was described as 18 to 20 years old and wearing a black knitted cap and blue stonewashed jeans.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the incident occurred aboard 7000-series rail car 7298 and said the car was equipped with digital video recorders.
Anyone with information on the incident or the individuals in the photos is asked to call 301-955-5000 or text Metro Transit Police at 696875.