Man Charged with Beating Woman at MBTA Station

BOSTON, Oct. 2, 2013— 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 (D.O.B. 8/11/62), who is homeless, was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.  Assistant District Attorney Eliana Nuzum requested bail be set in the amount of $10,000 and that Colla stay away from the location where the incident occurred and stay away and have no contact with the victim if he were to post bail.  Judge Michael Coyne released Colla on his own recognizance and ordered him to stay away and have no contact with the victim.

Additionally, 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 Downtown Crossing MBTA station at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 16.  There, they spoke with a 21-year-old Dorchester woman who said that she had 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.  Other patrons made attempts to separate the man and the victim before the man boarded a Braintree-bound train, prosecutors said.

The assault was captured in surveillance images.

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 is represented by Steven Topazio.  He will return to court on Dec. 30.


All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.