MBTA Transit Police arrested three people today and charged them with participating in the beating of a disabled man on the Downtown Crossing Station Orange Line platform early Monday morning.
Karen Akiba, 22, of Cambridge, and Bryon Lashus, 32, of Watertown, pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court today to charges of assault and battery on a disabled person, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, transit police said.
A third suspect, Maryanne Hamilton, 29, of Boston’s Jamaica Plain section, was arrested after she was seen in the courthouse hallway after Akiba and Lashus were arraigned. Hamilton is to be arraigned Wednesday.
Judge Patricia Bernstein set bail at $2, 000 cash for Akiba, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office. Lashus was released on personal recognizance after the judge was told by his defense attorney that Lashus is assisting transit police in the investigation, Conley’s office said.
Akiba, Lashus, and Hamilton, allegedly were among a group of people who attacked the 40-year-old victim around 12:30 a.m. Monday while he was waiting for a train to pull into the station. Police said after the attack that four people, two men and two women, were believed to have been involved.
Joseph O’Connor, MBTA Transit Police superintendent-in-chief, said the victim injected himself into an ongoing conversation among the group, telling them that they should not use the word “hate.’’
“It was nothing to rise to the level of the person being assaulted,’’ O’Connor said Tuesday of the victim’s comments. “It was really small talk that was occurring on the platform.’’
O’Connor added that the victim’s disability restricts his ability to communicate with people. Conley’s office said the victim is being treated for a schizoaffective disorder.
“There was no reason for them to attack him,’’ he said. “He lacks the capacity to really engage them in a real conversation.’’
The victim suffered “obvious injuries, lacerations and swelling to his facial and torso areas’’ and was taken to a Boston hospital where he was treated and released.
O’Connor said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.