WASHINGTON (WNEW) — Metro manager Richard Sarles is speaking for the first time about a July 1 incident in which a customer accused a station manager of giving him a black eye.

The manager was charged with simple assault, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office has elected not to prosecute the case. Instead, Metro will handle it internally, in accordance with the union contract. He has also been put on paid administrative leave.

GM Richard Sarles tells WNEW D.C. Bureau Chief Matt DelSignore that employees are taught how to diffuse or just walk away from situations that involve conflict. But he makes no excuses for the station manager.

“You can’t hit people, whether you’re working for us or not, you’re not supposed to hit people,” he says.

The alleged victim, Cameron Norris, says the manager was “antagonistic” from the start. He says the breaking point appeared to be when Norris tried to take a picture of the manager and his name on the kiosk.

WNEW D.C. Bureau Chief Matt DelSignore contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.


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