MARTA-TrainThe MARTA Police Department has apprehended a pair of suspects allegedly involved in a fight on a train last week that was captured by witnesses and went viral online. The two victims in the case have told local media the fight was result of them being transgender.

Police have arrested  Luther L. Thomas, 34, and Frederick L. Missick, 35, both of Atlanta, have been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the May 20th incident that occurred about 11 p.m. on a southbound train en route to Oakland City Station.

The suspects are being held at the Fulton County Jail and have been suspended from MARTA for violating “Ride with Respect,” the transit system’s code of conduct policy. More serious charges against the suspects are possible.

MARTA said it pursued the case  aggressively but the investigation was hampered by a lack of witnesses willing to come forward. Police officers who later responded to the scene were unable to get statements from the victims and subsequent attempts to interview them were also unsuccessful.

“MARTA does not condone and will not tolerate this type of behavior,“ said Keith T. Parker, MARTA’s GM/CEO. “I can assure you that we’re taking this matter very seriously.”

The transit authority said in the wake of the event, it is strengthening outreach efforts to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community to affirm the agency’s support for the principles of tolerance, inclusion and equal treatment under the law.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.