Homeless man released after allegedly beating woman on MBTA

Steven Colla, 51, was released on his own recognizance after an alleged attack on a woman in the MBTA. Photo via TPD
Steven Colla, 51, was released on his own recognizance after an alleged attack on a woman in the MBTA. Credit: TPD

A man was arraigned today on charges he attacked a woman at an MBTA station last month, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Steven Colla, who is homeless, was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

A judge today released Colla on his own recognizance and ordered him to stay away and have no contact with the victim, although Conley has assigned a senior prosecutor to review the case for potential prosecution as a civil rights violation as well as a physical assault.

According to prosecutors, Transit Police officers responded to the Downtown Crossing MBTA station about 3 p.m. on Sept. 16. A 21-year-old Dorchester woman said she asked a man standing on the Red Line platform if he could move down to make room for her to sit on a counter. When he refused, she jumped onto the space that was available to sit, the victim told police.

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 fell onto the platform, striking her head. Bystanders tried to separate the man and the victim before he boarded a Braintree-bound train, prosecutors said.

The assault was captured by surveillance cameras.

Based on surveillance images and the physical description of the attacker provided by the victim, police were able to identify Colla as the assailant, prosecutors said. The victim positively identified Colla in a photo array, prosecutors said.

Colla will return to court on Dec. 30.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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