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Officials: City worker charged in trolley assault to be fired

A worker with the city's Department of Parks and Recreation embroiled in a brutal assault case has been suspended with intent to dismiss, city officials said today.

Damon Oliver, 40, has been charged with terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment after allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old girl on SEPTA's Route 15 trolley on Jan. 21.

Oliver, who works as a facility caretaker with Parks and Recreation, turned himself in to police yesterday morning. He remains in custody at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in lieu of 10 percent of his $25,000 bail, court records show.

After Oliver's arraignment, Parks and Recreation officials issued him a notice of 30 day's suspension with intent to dismiss, according to mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald.

McDonald said the city was aware of Oliver's previous criminal record, including a 1995 conviction for aggravated assault, when he was hired in 2008.

"This city and this mayoral administration is committed to helping returning citizens get the training and education they need to be participants in the city's economy," he said.

"At the same time, we hold these people to a high standard," McDonald added. "Clearly, this individual has anger-management issues, and the city is terminating its connection to him."

In addition to his 1995 conviction, for which he served a few months in prison, Oliver also pleaded guilty to simple assault in 2003 and 2006, court records show.

The girl Oliver allegedly assaulted, whom the Daily News is identifying only as Shay at her request, said the beating started after she accidentally bumped him with her backpack while boarding the trolley on her way to class at Bodine High School for International Affairs in Northern Liberties.

An argument between the two broke out, one that escalated into blows, with Shay fighting back in self-defense, she told the Daily News.

Ultimately, her attacker bashed her in the head at least three times, breaking her nose and blackening her eye.