Muni Ticket Agent Out on Bail

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Muni Ticket Agent Out on Bail

AP

Muni officials may cut hundreds of stops in an effort to increase efficiency.

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 A San Francisco Municipal Railway ticket agent arrested Thursday on suspicion of assaulting a teenage girl has been released from custody as  the district attorney's office decides whether to charge him.

Police arrested Kenneth Valentine, 59, of Novato, at the Embarcadero station. The incident started as an argument but developed into a fight in which Valentine allegedly punched one of two sisters, a juvenile,  after one of them threw a soda can at him, police said.

Two sisters were getting their tickets, one for the reduced-age price. When the agent asked for the young woman's identification and she didn't have it, all hell broke loose.

The girl ended up at the wrong end of the agent's bad temper, according to police

One of the girls threw a soda can at the agent. Then, according to a witness, both girls went into the booth and the ticket agent let loose on them, "fighting as if they were grown men" KGO TV reported.

The agent could face felony assault charges.

Police initially said Valentine appeared to be the aggressor, but  district attorney's office spokesman Brian Buckelew said Monday that further  investigation was needed before a charging decision could be made.

Investigators are continuing to take statements from witnesses and  will review a BART video "that may shed light" on the incident, Buckelew  said.

A charging decision could take up to a month, Buckelew said. In  the meantime, Valentine has been freed from jail.

It could be said that passengers are expected to get into it over seats on Muni and street violence can easily make its way onto the City's buses.

But at the ticket booth? Seems like the ones who punch tickets supposed to just that -- punch the TICKET.  Maybe it's just another day on Muni.

  Bay City News contributed this report.

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