Metro News Release

For immediate release: April 9, 2010

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Metro Transit Police arrest MetroAccess driver
Driver charged with third degree sex offense, second degree assault

The Metro Transit Police Department arrested a MetroAccess driver on Thursday, April 8, after investigating a report of a sexual assault involving a MetroAccess customer on January 28 in Prince George’s County.

Jose Del Castillo, 55, of Gaithersburg, Md., was charged with third degree sex offense and second degree assault on Thursday, April 8. Metro Transit Police arrested Castillo on Thursday in Gaithersburg and transferred him to Prince George’s County for arrest processing and arraignment.

“Metro Transit Police take these reports very seriously, conduct a thorough investigation and take the appropriate action, as evidenced by the charges that we filed,” said Jeff Delinski, Deputy Chief of the Metro Transit Police Department. “We do everything we can to protect Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess riders.”

Castillo worked for Challenger Transportation, a subcontractor of MV Transportation, the contractor that provides MetroAccess service. He was hired on May 5, 2009 after a background check revealed that he had no previous felony convictions or misdemeanors of a violent or sexual nature, per MV Transportation policy. Following the reported assault, Castillo was suspended without pay on January 30, 2010 and terminated on April 8.

Metro Transit Police also have been investigating a January 3 report of sexual assault involving a different MetroAccess driver that took place at Sixth Street and Brentwood, NE. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia has declined to prosecute the case at this time. The driver, 31, was hired on September 24, 2009, suspended without pay on January 3, 2010, and terminated on February 4, 2010.

MetroAccess has about 1,500 drivers and 27,000 registered customers. The service for people with disabilities who are unable, as a result of their disability, to use fixed-route transportation such as Metrobus and Metrorail provides about 7,700 trips on an average weekday. The MetroAccess fleet is made up of 599 vehicles.

Media contacts for this news release: Angela Gates for Metro at 202-962-1051 or Nikki Frenney for MV Transportation at 407-467-7517

News release issued at 3:56 pm, April 9, 2010.

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