Man Arrested over a Paper Towel at MARTA Station in Atlanta

(FOX 5 ATLANTA)    A man police say grabbed paper towels from a maintenance cart at a rail station in Atlanta and used them to blow his nose wound up in jail. 

A police report says a man identified as Alfred Murphy grabbed the towels at a MARTA station Monday afternoon, and a transit system police officer told him he couldn’t do that. 

The report says Murphy said he was entitled to them because he’d paid his fare. 

It says the officer asked Murphy to leave and instead he picked up a police phone and complained about being assaulted. 

The report says officers were summoned, and that Murphy “then became violent and began to struggle while holding on to the telephone receiver.” The report says he hit one officer in the face, cutting him on his forehead and under his right eye. According to the report, Murphy also punched another officer in the nose. 

Murphy was arrested and booked into the Fulton County Jail early Tuesday morning on charges of battery, obstruction and hindering of a law enforcement officer and criminal trespassing. It was also discovered that he was on probation. He remained in jail on Tuesday afternoon. 

MARTA released the following statement about the incident: 

“The incident in question, which includes charges of battery against a police officer, is a criminal matter that will ultimately be decided in the courts. We haven’t received any complaints about the use of excessive force in this case. If we do, we would investigate it thoroughly. The MARTA Police Department is one of the top law enforcement agencies of its kind in the nation and our officers do an exemplary job of making sure our customers and employees are safe. MARTA officers aggressively patrol our stations, facilities and vehicles, and are required to use their best judgment and discretion at all times.” 


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

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