Investment banker Jean-Francois Coste was arrested after beating an MTA employee

A drunk investment banker repeatedly punched an MTA employee in an unprovoked attack at a Brooklyn subway station on Friday morning and was arrested, officials said.

Jean-Francois Coste, 53, was at the Stillwell Avenue station in Coney Island around 12:15 a.m. when he punched the 56-year-old switchboard operator at the start of her shift, police officers said.

Tanya McCray, 56, was exiting the “team room” on the public mezzanine when she saw Coste — a senior equities analyst at Tocqueville Asset Management — trying to get in, an MTA spokesman said.

“It’s not a public area,” the spokesman said. “He was obviously drunk. She pushed the door so it clicked and clicked and he punched her in the face at least twice.”

McCray, a 21-year veteran of the MTA and train operator, fought back and began hitting Coste with her lunch bag, which contained a thermos, the spokesman said. After another transit employee came to her aid, the bank clerk ran down the platform.

“All the workers from the crew room come out and run after him,” the spokesman said. “He jumped on a train and the transit workers cornered him.”

Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Terminal.
The attack occurred at the Stillwell Avenue train station in Coney Island.
Tanya McCray.
Tanya McCray was exiting the crew room on the public mezzanine when she saw Coste trying to get inside.
Facebook/Tanya Hinton McCray

Coste was arrested and charged with assaulting, molesting and threatening a transit worker. He was released without bail and his next court date has been set for March.

McCray said she was surprised by the attack.

“I didn’t see him hit me,” she said. “I didn’t see the shot, it went so fast.”

Jean Francois Coste.
Jean-Francois Coste was arrested and charged with assaulting, harassing and threatening a transit worker.
Tocqueville Asset Management LP

McCray, who suffered bruises and was taken to a local hospital, said she hopes her attacker will be punished.

“I just hope justice is done,” McCray said. “I hope he sees jail time. It’s not fair that people think they can just attack us, and that’s okay. It’s not okay. We’re just here to do our job.”

The Transit Workers Union plans to stage a show of force at Coste’s court hearing, the spokesman said.

Richard Davis, president of TWU Local 100, said the public “should treat transit workers as heroes, not as punching bags.

“We’ve always championed this city, most recently working through the pandemic, and that’s the thanks we get. It has to stop. We’ll see this guy in court.”

Coste could not be immediately reached for comment. Investment banker Jean-Francois Coste was arrested after beating an MTA employee


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