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Station Cleaner Receives Commendation from MTA After Spotting Loaded Gun

New York City Transit
Updated April 21, 2021 4:30 p.m.
Subway Hero Leonetti and Warren

Station Cleaner Honored as Hero for Alerting Authorities of Man with Handgun in Manhattan Subway Station 


See Photos from Ceremony


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) honored station cleaner Ivette Leonetti for her quick thinking and action in reporting a customer with a handgun inside the WTC Cortlandt   station. Leonetti was presented with a “Hero of the Subway” commendation at a ceremony in the Lower Manhattan station.

The 22-year MTA veteran was cleaning a platform bench upon which the man was sitting at the WTC Cortlandt station on Monday, April 19. Leonetti asked the man to move so she could clean the area, and that’s when she noticed he was carrying a nine-millimeter semi-automatic handgun.

Leonetti, who has worked at the WTC Cortlandt station for two and a half years, says she stayed calm and finished cleaning the area before alerting the station booth clerk, who notified authorities. When NYPD officers arrived, Leonetti told them the location of the man with the gun, which was loaded, and he was taken into custody.

“While I’ve never encountered someone with a weapon in the transit system, I would encourage anyone who sees something dangerous to step up and say something,” Leonetti said. “Any time I come to work I’m thinking of my family, my two children, and I would do for them the same thing I would do for any of my customers to keep them safe.”

“I cannot say enough about Ivette’s quick thinking and professionalism that led to this arrest,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety & Security Officer. “Employees like Ivette have kept the system moving throughout the COVID pandemic, and I want to say thank you on behalf of the entire MTA and our customers for taking responsibility and making the subway a safe place for riders.”