A MARTA train travels in a file photo. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Cops: Man told MARTA panhandler to get a job before killing on train

A police report released Friday sheds new light on an alleged murder on a MARTA train.

Charles Richey, a 49-year-old Atlantan, is accused of stabbing a man who was asking riders for money on a train near the Avondale station Jan. 24 around 8:15 p.m., the report said. 

“Richey said he told (the man) he needed to get a job and earn his own money,” an officer wrote, adding that Richey also noted to the victim that he works too hard to give away his money.

The victim, a middle-aged man whose identity hasn’t been released, then went to another part of the train, but Richey followed, continuing to talk. The man finally stood up, raised his hands and asked Richey to leave him alone, the report said.

Richey told officers he grabbed the victim’s clothing and a fight ensued.

The victim gained control of Richey by pinning him down to a seat before Richey drew a knife and began stabbing the victim, police said.

A warrant charging Richey with murder said he stabbed the man “numerous times.”

An officer wrote in the report about arriving to the scene to find the victim on the westbound platform at the Avondale station with an unknown man applying pressure to the wounds.

Richey was found with the knife still in his possession and agreed to speak with police, the report said.

The victim had no ID on him and wasn’t identified until Thursday. But his identity won’t be released until the next-of-kin is notified, according to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The homicide was the first of two in a matter of weeks on MARTA property. On Thursday, a man was shot to death by a teen while reportedly boarding a bus at the College Park station.

In a statement, a MARTA spokeswoman said the transit system takes safety seriously and works vigorously to ensure it.

“In spite of these isolated incidents, MARTA remains one of the safest transit systems in the country,” the statement said. “And, in both instances at Avondale and College Park, the suspects were apprehended within 24 hours by MARTA Police.”

Charles Richey, 49, is accused of murder in the stabbing death of a man who asked him for money on a MARTA train, police say.
Photo: DeKalb County jail

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