NYPD officers arrested on Monday, December 5, three girls in a connection to a potentially race-related attack on a city bus.
According to police, on Tuesday, November 22, four white female St. Catharine Academy students were on board a Bx8 bus near Middletown Road and Westchester Avenue.
During their ride home from school, two black male passengers began to take their picture.
Later on, three black females boarded the same bus at the Westchester Avenue stop. They were friends of the males that were harassing the white students. The teenage girls immediately started fighting with the St. Catharine foursome.
According to a NY Post article, the boys yelled things such as, “Oh, white girl got money!” and “Oh you go to St. Catharine’s? What, do you have money? Go drink your coffee, white girl and go shopping.”
In addition, the boys allegedly threatened to urinate on the victims.
The St. Catharine girls’ attorney, Scott Seskin, confirmed the comments.
They suffered minor cuts and bruises from the attack and were taken to Jacobi Hospital.
NYPD has identified two of the girls arrested as 17-year old Miracle Rattray and 16-year old Mollychi Rattray.
Both girls were charged with 2nd degree gang assault.
The third girl arrested, age 15, was not identified but charged with 3rd degree assault.
The victims’ mothers chose not to speak with the Bronx Times, however Seskin said his clients are very upset.
Seskin said he has filed a notice of claim – a precursor to a lawsuit – against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
In addition, they are planning a lawsuit against the bus driver who allegedly did nothing while the attacks continued.
The notice of claim gives the MTA at least a month to review the situation before a lawsuit is filed.
According to Seskin, the bus driver did not stop the bus to let the victims off.
However, he said, the driver did stop between bus stops to let the alleged attackers off the bus.
At one point the alleged attackers tried to drag one of the girls off the bus and then stole her backpack containing a laptop, according to sources.
Seskin said at this point there is no way to change what happened to the girls.
“We can’t undo what’s been done,” said Seskin. “The civil legal system provides us a monetary remedy.”
Following the alleged attacks, elected officials – including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, assemblymembers Mark Gjonaj and Michael Bendetto, Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman James Vacca – are sending a letter to the MTA asking for safer conditions for students on the bus route.
The letter points to an arrangement other schools have in which students are transported home by a dedicated bus which permits drop offs only.
The group is calling for a similar procedure.
The officials identified the Bx12 and Bx8 bus routes as the main routes St. Catharine Academy students use following dismissal.
The officials are asking that the special bus make all stops, foregoing Westchester Square.
Elected officials plan to package the letter with two other letters calling for changes in response to the attacks.