All in a day’s work

February 27, 2013 Denise Romano
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With thousands of people riding the subway each day and hundreds of stations in the system, there are likely millions of stories to be told.

One particular subway station – the Fort Hamilton Parkway stop on the N train –was the backdrop for two incidents on the opposite ends of the spectrum, one devastating and one heartwarming.

On January 3, two transit officers were shot, but not seriously injured, by a passenger on the Manhattan-bound N train as it pulled into the Fort Hamilton Parkway station. The gunman killed by one of the officers during the struggle, and his body fell half on the platform and half on the train.

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As catastrophic as that night was, this station, which borders on Sunset Park and Borough Park, also witnessed a joyous event.

“Back in November, an old Asian lady put [a three carat engagement] ring in my tray. She spoke no English and walked away,” recalled Anthony Tiralosi, the station’s token booth clerk, who has worked for the MTA for 27 years.

“It’s my call what to do with it,” he explained. “As soon as I looked at it I knew it was expensive: white gold and diamonds.”

Tiralosi followed protocol and notified his supervisor. “I described it quickly. This has lots of value, opposed to an umbrella,” he said.

When he finished his shift, the ring was still in the token booth. Tiralosi said that someone from the Lost and Found unit must have taken it from the man who relieved him.

“I heard nothing about it for two months,” Tiralosi said. Then, “In January, a woman came by the booth and asked ‘I have a stupid question. Did someone turn in a lost ring?’”

Thinking she was asking about that day, Tiralosi at first said no. But after she started describing it, he gave her the good news.

“She got very excited,” he recalled, adding that she was able to retrieve her ring from the lost property section the next day.

According to the MTA, there has been a rise in lost property in the system. In 2012, MTA workers took in 24,445 lost items, up from 23,223 in 2011. The amount of items being returned to their original owners however has also increased, with 8,093 items being returned in 2012, up from 7,438 in 2011.

Tiralosi may be familiar to some since he worked out of the 95th Street R train station from 1996 to 2008, during the 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. shift. Now that he has kids – ages 9 and 13 – his hours are earlier at the Fort Hamilton Parkway station.

Tiralosi was sure to share the story with his kids.

“If you find something that doesn’t belong to you, you have to give it back,” he said. “More people should realize that you have to do good, maybe the world will be a better place.”

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