BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The MTA’s police chief says there’s an aggressive investigation underway to get to the bottom of a vicious subway attack, and he has partial names of the attackers.

He tells investigative reporter Mike Hellgren that security systems worked to stop a man from being thrown from a moving train.

The MTA police chief insists the system is safe, but many regular riders disagree.

People just stood and watched two young men fight a 51-year-old. It got really ugly when one of the attackers pried open the doors on the moving train. It appears he was trying to throw the victim off.

The MTA’s police chief tells WJZ the train was tested, and safety systems stopped the doors from opening all the way.

“We do have a fail-safe system on our trains. Those doors are designed to only open six inches. That worked that day,” said MTA chief of police Col. John E. Gavrilis.”If all that technology would have failed and the bar would’ve allowed the door open, that train would have immediately stopped.”

“That was horrific,” he continued. “It was horrible that an elderly man would be attacked by two young kids.”

He stressed overall crime on the system is down–with one crime for every 400,000 riders.

“We believe that’s a truly an anomaly, that we are one of the safest transit systems in the nation,” Gavrilis said.

But that drew passionate reaction from regular riders. Many say they see fights daily.

“Oh, that’s a lie. That’s a lie,” said MTA rider Lanetta Moore when asked what she thought about the chief calling the train a “safe system.”

“I don’t really feel safe. I don’t, but I have to utilize the system,” said Brenda Bryant, regular MTA rider.

“You don’t want to listen to music on the subway, bus, train–anything–for fear of your phone being snatched out of your hand,” said Brenda Wright, regular MTA rider.

“All the numbers can say we do a good job. However, it’s the perception, and now we have to catch up to the reality that it is a very safe system,” Gavrilis said.

Police are still looking for any witnesses and that victim to come forward in that subway attack.

MTA police say there have been 164 felony crimes so far this year, compared to 247 last year.

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