LIRR 'train terrorist' takes courtesy enforcement to new level
(Long Beach - WABC, October 15, 2007) (WABC) -- Long Island resident John Clifford has, by his own account, punched one woman in the head and poured his coffee on another.
He's interrupted cell-phone conversations and yelled at others who managed to make his morning commute from Long Beach to Penn Station miserable.
Clifford says he's tired of rude behavior.
The retired New York City police officer, who is now a lawyer, has been arrested or issued a summons by MTA police eight times since March 2003 for his conduct on trains and at Penn Station.
He says his friends call him the "train terrorist."
Through all of his arrests, Clifford said, none of the charges have stuck because his accusers never show up in court. The police officers and train conductors who wrote the formal complaints never witnessed his actions.
But Gerry Bringmann, of the LIRR Commuter's Council says Clifford is "a vigilante" whose aggressive actions should not be tolerated.
Clifford has a November court date for his latest dustup, a March incident in which he smacked a woman and yelled at a man riding the train with him.
He says all he wants is for the LIRR to designate one car on each train a quiet car, where loud talking and cell-phone conversations would be forbidden.
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