MTA Bridge and Tunnel officer charged with assault for allegedly punching 13-year-old boy in the Bronx

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THE BRONX — An MTA Bridge and Tunnel officer is facing assault charges after he allegedly punched a 13-year-old boy in the Bronx Thursday afternoon.

Ruben Caraballo, 36, of the Bronx, turned himself in Friday and is charged with assault, police said.

The incident happened on the corner of Randall Avenue and White Plains Road around 4 p.m. near Mathematics Prep Junior High School where the victim, 13-year-old Justin Harris, and assailant's son are both in eighth grade.

Police said the two boys were involved in a fight when the father stepped between them.

"He pushed his son onto my son, saying he needed to draw blood from my son," Sean Harris, the father of the 13-year-old victim, Justin Harris, told PIX11. "And then he punched my son in the stomach."

Justin wasn't allowed to be interviewed because he is the key witness against Carabello.

But he showed Pix11 the injuries to his arm after the fight.

His lawyer said Caraballo's arrest sends a message to all.

"No matter what job you have, if you assault a 13-year-old, you will be held criminally responsible," Sanford Rubenstein said.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said, "Ruben Caraballo has been employed with the MTA since November 2005. He currently works out of the QMT facility. He remains on active duty but is restricted from carrying a firearm while the investigation is pending."