SF cable car operator's dream job becomes a nightmare

For 14 years David Reyes worked as a cable car operator. He said he loved every minute of it.

"That was my dream job," Reyes said. But the dream turned into nightmare.

In 2017 San Francisco police arrested Reyes for embezzlement. They say he and another worker were pocketing some of the cash fares from passengers.

"If you can imagine going to work and there are 20-25 police officers. It was really stressful," Reyes said.

Then came the news accounts of the arrest.

"My mug shot was on the local TV. My daughter in Connecticut saw it," he said. Reyes' trial ended in a hung jury that leaned toward acquittal. 

Late last week he learned the district attorney has decided not to re-try him.

"I never stole anything and that's the thing," said Reyes.

A second cable car worker, Albert Williams, was also arrested and is still awaiting trial. But during the ordeal Reyes mother died, not knowing how her son would end up.

He lost his job with Muni and now works as a custodian.

Reyes said he is looking into whether he can get his cable car job back. Muni, which operates the cable cars, isn't sure.

"It’s too early at this point. We are working with our team to determine next steps," said spokesman Paul Rose.

But in the two years since the arrests. the cable cars now have a pilot program where passengers buy tickets at the turnarounds before riding, limiting cash transactions.

Reyes said he is thinking about suing the city. He'd like work on the cable cars again. Or at least get back pay for the all the time he missed.