It was another case of slow-moving justice in the Bronx, as Judge J. Moore granted a postponement to the attorney representing accused perpetrator Steangeli Medina on the grounds of the counselor's poor health. Steangeli beat Bus Operator Marlene Bien-Aime brutally in June of 2011 when she objected to the customer bringing a dog aboard the bus. Vision problems sidelined Bien-Aime from work for over a year.
Medina's attorney may have bought his client two more weeks, but ADA Hilary Chernin (pictured with Marlene Bien-Aime) made it clear that her office is giving Steangeli one more chance -- and no more -- to accept the Bronx prosecutor's plea deal. That deal includes pleading to a D Felony, six months split behind bars and doing probation, anger management, and a permanent order of protection barring her from any contact with Bien-Aime. TWU OA Division 2 Chair Frank Austin, who has been the union's liaison to the DA's office, wants Steangeli to face a lifetime ban on riding NYCT buses, but Chinin indicated that may not be feasible.
Along with TWU Local 100 Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray, Womens Committee Chair Liz Wilson, and Kingsbridge Depot Chair Richard Fields, MTA managers showed up to support Bien-Aime, including Thomas Elkin, General Manager of Buses for the Bronx.They shared the TWU's frustration with the slow pace of justice and are looking forward to looking at this case in the rear view mirror -- hopefully with a significant punishment for the woman who viciously beat down a Bus Operator who was just doing her job and serving the public.