VIOLENCE ON BART

This morning I witnessed an unprovoked attack on a lady on the Pittsburg/Baypoint line @
19th street. A crazed black woman boarded the train and began screaming insults and
death threats at the lady before striking her in the face several times. I was sitting at the
opposit end of the car and although a number of people stood up from their seats it did
not appear anyone tried to help.

The victim got up from her seat and made her way to the end of the car where I was sitting.
When her attacker attempted to follow her path was blocked by a gentleman who stood in
the isle; by this time the train was arriving at MacArthur and the t/o had summoned the police.
The attacker ran from the train as soon as the doors opened, still shouting death threats.

We sat in the station for about 10 mins before a policeman arrived. He told the lady his partner
was holding someone downstairs who matched her attacker's description, but she was reluctant
press charges or even provide an identification.

I am seriously thinking about giving up on BART. I think the number of seriously crazy
people and the resulting police actions are increasing; I don't blame the lady for not
wanting further involvement as this lunatic, even if arrested, would probably be back on the
streets and in the station in 72 hrs. While I'm certainly capable of protecting myself this
sort of mad-dog attack on someone quietly working a crossword puzzle is beyond tolerence.

Forums: 

Cool story, what was the point?

We already know you HATE BART CQ, I am still unsure why you still ride it.

mentally ill people are....irrational,unpredictable and ...everywhere.

What exactly would you expect to happen in a case like this?
T.O .called cops, cops showed up , detained person matching the description, victim is reluctant to press charges and that's pretty much it.

What exactly is your point?
What exactly are you expecting to happen in a case like this?

My point is that this sort of behaviour is increasing in frequency. I have no expectations other than
at some point I am likely to be involved in an altercation.

Yes, I do hate BART; the only reason I ride it is because there is NO all day parking where I work.
I will have to move my car every 2 hrs to avoid the $45 ticket but that is better than getting punched
or stabbed.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

I have a counterpoint to your rant. You and many others will complain about a person did (x activity) and the Station Agent/Train Operator did nothing! I saw (x disgusting thing) and the station/train is filthy!

This story that you tell is exactly why BART employees "are not proactive." The public in general allows this kind of shit to happen and then does nothing to change the situation besides complain on here I guess. This is something you in particular are somewhat famous for as I recall being scolded over you. Back then I said if it makes you happy, then by all means.

If you don't like the environment I suggest you do something other than sneveling about it here. Now I can appreciate your frustration but when you deliver it with a side of apathy well, that's when you loose me. I really want to help you but I can't tell you from the other bleeting sheep in the cattle car.

I want your trip safe just as much as I want mine to be. I would rather you have a comfortable ride and not be assailed by unpleasant sights or smells but...

Nothing will change for the better unless somebody steps up, otherwise you will continue to get the fine service that BART provides you. In your case that would entail getting bent over and "serviced" by BART so you can come back and sing praises as to how much you don't like what's going on.

In this story all the officer needed was for ONE PERSON to step off and ID the woman. A contact made, a police jacket is born report filed. Repeat contacts with the woman would then put her on BPD's radar and suddenly instead of her being a problem to the passengers the BPD becomes a problem for her. That one person could have been you but, instead you come here and complain.

If it makes you happy, then by all means...

T/O

If you read my account carefully you will find I blamed neither the t/o or BART police for lack of
action in this situation. My description of events was a precursor to my observation that these
things are, in my opinion, increasing in frequency. Never mentioned getting "serviced" by
BART either, whatever that may mean.

Keep working on those reading comprehension skills, sir, and check out the first three letters
of "assume" while you're at

Train Operator since 2003's picture

Wrong again, it is your comprehension in question. I wrote "you AND many others..." I didn't just single you out. Also I explained why you are seeing negative situations increasing. I went on to say what the problem is and what needs to happen to improve the situation. I further question your paticular action at the time and wonder if the woman that was assaulted was your significant other would you still have done nothing? I realize that calling you a sheep is insulting but you already have the victim mentality assuming you will eventually be assaulted. Obviously the truth stings and you would bring into question my comprehension skills rather than aknowelege a self admitted truth. I went down this road with Bartarded long ago and it didn't go well for him either. With that said I apologize if I got to a sharp point in a round about way and if I address you in the future I will endeavor to be more polite in doing so.

Point by point--

You were quick to assume that I (along with the many others) was blaming BART employes
for the violence I witnessed. Wrong again yourself, sir; I never said any such thing.
You question my "particular action" at the time although I clearly stated I was at the other
end of the car when the incident occurred-it was over in less than a minute and there was
no way I, or anyone else, could have helped this individual.
You even go so far at wonder what would happen if my significant other was being assaulted;
let me assure you with utter confidence that anyone engaged in such an act would stagger
out of the train a bloody ruin.
You state that you "went down this road with Bartarded" and "it didn't go well for him either.'
Are you threatening me? Are you in some position of authority that allows you to swagger and
pontificate with such authority? Please, satisfy my victim minded curiousity.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

Ok;
The many others I was refering to, you can read all about in past postings. I've read about the many complaints and simply responded refering to them in general. You come here to vent about things, I come here to try to explain why things happen the way they do. I already stated I wasn't singling you out specifically but you keep bringing my broad based statement back to "I never said that." Of this I already aknowledged that and I was not refering to you specifically but, I did call you out on your actions later.

I usually go on to offer solutions but as I said, If I sense bullshit I will call you on it. This is when someone like you gets embarrassed and starts questioning me. I am of no particular status and all I bring is over a decade of front line experience and insight. I am unaware of any elevated status here and I don't feel very threatening or swaggerlike tapping on a keyboard in the dark in my jammies. (yellow smiley faces wearing sombreros with tobasco sauce bottle print).

Ok so you say you couldn't do anything about the situation and yet I say you could have and that you project a victim mentality. I point this out so that maybe you will be the one person in the car to be a part of the solution and not just a passive witness. As you can read I'm not the only one to see the issue with you and hey, that was then and today is another day. You are now aware of something about yourself and can be an even better person all the more for it.

I want to believe in you.

BART doesn't listen to it's front line employees so if you want change, you have to be the squeaky wheel.
If you come here often then you will learn about the system and we will fill in any blanks should you ask. Other than that I'm just some guy with insomnia.

T/O

The system is already stacked against the riders. The Board meetings are held during the day when WE'RE AT WORK and only the endless defenders of bad behavior can appear. As a result, people know they can do whatever they want on BART and get away with it. The one cop who dared to actually DO something about bad behavior on BART ended up in prison because of it.

Ok, seems a tad victim mentality to me but , if it is how you feel then so be it.

May I suggest ...and these are only suggestions.
1. Be aware of who what and where you are at all times.
Kind of like you would/should be when driving.
It helps avoid issues.
2.Be willing to step up and assist the officers in "doing something" about a mentally ill person by either saying,"Yeah that guy is doing....whatever" or be willing to "Citizens arrest " the person and go through with it.
If you see something , say something.
Doesn't just apply to terrorist stuff.

Sitting in your seat seems like the best,easiest option I know , but it doesn't fix the issue nor does it contribute to fixing the issue.

3. I have said it before but, crazy people are everywhere, at all times.
Public transit seems to collect them for a few reasons BUT ...crazy people have places to go as well and ...a lot of them can't drive.

Safety is an illusion at best, a lie at worst.

Especially out in the public.,

4. Buy a taser and carry it with you. DON'T carry pepper spray because if you use it on a train you'll hurt a lot of innocent people. There are pretty powerful tasers you can buy that are about the size of a deck of cards. I've only had to show it to someone once on the street, and they backed away. I feel MUCH safer carrying it.

The point is that, more and more, BART is prioritizing the needs of EVERYONE BUT THEIR RIDERS. Mentally ill--don't worry, we'll send outreach workers. If you hit someone on a train, well, who cares! Homeless and want to pee all over the walls of the station--go right ahead! We have sympathy for you. Who cares about our riders! Want to chain yourself to a BART train on the busiest shopping day of the year and inconvenience thousands of people--GO RIGHT AHEAD! We'll just close down the stations and inconvenience everyone with NO PENALTY TO YOU WHATSOEVER!

I gave up BART a year ago and went back to my car. The $15 extra a day for parking and tolls is TOTALLY worth it to ride in comfort without having to worry about being literally assaulted by a crazy person, or assaulted by having to smell their bodily fluids. As an added bonus, I don't have to brake for protesters.