Metroaccess paratransit service in the Washington, D.C. area.

MetroAccess Service to Resume After Winter Storm Stella

MetroAccess paratransit service for customers with disabilities will resume service on Wednesday morning in the Washington, D.C. area after winter storm Stella. The MetroAccess reservations call center has reopened as of noon today (Tuesday) to assist customers with scheduling trips for Wednesday and future dates.

Due to the nature of MetroAccess service, where vehicles often travel on secondary or tertiary streets, customers may experience lengthier trip times due to road conditions. In some cases, “door-to-door” service may be unavailable where driveways or sidewalks have not been cleared of snow and ice. In such cases, the driver will provide “curb-to-curb service” instead.

Customers with subscription trips reserved for Wednesday who would prefer not to travel are encouraged to call the MetroAccess call center to cancel as soon as possible.

(Photo via @donnisinmd on Twitter)

MetroAccess Sexual Assault

Sex Crimes detectives of the Mason District of Fairfax County Police have charged a contract employee working for the MetroAccess paratransit service with allegedly sexually assaulting a 51-year-old woman on Tuesday, June 28 in the 3400 block of Carlin Springs Road, in Falls Church. The victim contacted police to make a report on Thursday, June 30. This is the second MetroAccess driver charged within a week.

An investigation determined the victim was a customer of the van service and the day before the alleged assault, she was picked up in the morning for work. Later in the day, she realized she lost her cell phone and contacted the paratransit service to report it. The next day, around 3 p.m., the victim noticed a MetroAccess van pull up in her apartment complex. She recognized the driver as the same man who picked her up the day before.

The driver knocked on her door. When she answered, he told her he was returning her cell phone. He then asked if he could use her restroom. She agreed and when he exited, he asked for a hug. She declined but the suspect hugged her anyway, then took her into another room and allegedly began to sexually assault her. The victim was able to push him away and the suspect left.

Two days later, the victim reported the incident to her counselor, who encouraged her to report it to police. After a comprehensive investigation, Major Crimes detectives obtained a criminal warrant charging Jose G. Pino Estrada, 35, of Alexandria, with rape. Pino Estrada turned himself in on Wednesday, August 10. He was arrested and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Pino Estrada was an employee of Diamond Transportation which provides MetroAccess transportation services under contract to Metro; his employment has been terminated.

Detectives believe there may be other victims and ask anyone with knowledge of similar incidents to contact the Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637.

(Courtesy photo via Fairfax County Police)

Suspect image - Bowen

Metro Transit Police arrest contract MetroAccess driver on sexual offense charges

Metro Transit Police have arrested a contract employee working for MetroAccess on sexual-offense and assault charges following an alleged incident aboard a paratransit vehicle yesterday morning.

Derrick Lamont Bowen, 44, of SE Washington, DC, was arrested last night by transit detectives. Bowen is an employee of Transdev Corporation, which provides MetroAccess transportation service under contract to Metro.

The alleged incident took place at approximately 8 a.m. Tuesday, August 9, 2016, when the MetroAccess van was stopped in a church parking lot in the 12700-block of Claxton Drive in Laurel. A witness observed the driver of the van move to the rear passenger compartment where he then engaged in a sexual act with an adult female passenger.  There were no other passengers aboard the vehicle at the time of the incident.

The witness called 911 and Prince George’s County Police officers responded and took the driver into custody. Metro Transit Police were notified, and the victim was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

The MetroAccess passenger, an adult female, has an intellectual disability. A review of GPS data shows confirms that the van was stopped in the parking lot at the time of the 911 call.

MTPD detectives obtained an arrest warrant last night charging Bowen with 3rd degree sex offense, 4th degree sexual contact and 2nd degree assault. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

Anyone with information that may be helpful for detectives is urged to contact Metro Transit Police at (202) 962-2121.

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