Homeless man arraigned for alleged MBTA attack

Updated:

BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – A homeless man was arraigned Wednesday on charges he attacked a woman at an MBTA station in September, District Attorney Daniel Conley said.

Steven Colla, 51, was arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A judge released Colla on his own recognizance and ordered him to stay away and have no contact with the victim.

Additionally, Conley has assigned a senior prosecutor to review the case for potential prosecution as a civil rights violation, as well as a physical assault.

Transit Police officers responded to the Downtown Crossing MBTA station at about 3 p.m. on Sept. 16 after a 21-year-old Dorchester woman reported she had been assaulted, prosecutors said.

The victim told police she had asked a man standing on the Red Line platform to move down to make room for her to sit on a counter. When he refused, she jumped on the space that was available to sit. The man then told her she could not sit there and used a racial epithet before punching her in the chest and dragging her off the counter by her ankle, prosecutors said.

The victim allegedly fell onto the platform, hitting her head. Other patrons made attempts to separate the man and the victim before the man boarded a Braintree-bound train, prosecutors said.

The assault was captured in surveillance images. Based on the images and the physical description of the attacker, police were able to identify Colla and take him into custody.

Colla will return to court Dec. 30.