A woman identified as a transient who had been sleeping on a bench nearby is accused of attempted murder after allegedly shoving a man onto the BART tracks at Downtown Berkeley Station Monday night.
The incident happened at 9:18 p.m. Monday, when a Richmond-bound train was entering the station. The suspect, identified as 34-year-old Roli Okoropudu, reportedly "leapt to her feet and pushed the victim with both hands" in front of the oncoming train, according to BART Police. The victim quickly moved out of the way of the train, scurrying into the crawl-space beneath the platform to avoid being hit, per the Chronicle. He was then able to escape after the train stopped, and the train operator opened a door and allowed him on the train, where he soon received medical attention. He suffered a minor ankle injury, and refused further treatment, as Berkeleyside reports. The suspect fled the scene, and BART officers then drove the man home.
Okoropudu was located Tuesday morning, sleeping on a bench near the BART station, and she was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and a probation violation. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail without bail, and she will be arraigned on Friday morning, as the Mercury News reports.
The incident was reportedly caught on surveillance cameras, as the Associated Press reports, but BART has not yet released it. The attack appears to have been unprovoked.
Being pushed onto train tracks in front of an oncoming train is of course one of the great nightmare scenarios of urban life. A similar incident happened at the Lake Merritt BART station in late April, in which a man allegedly tried to push a woman in front of an oncoming train. In New York City, a man was pushed onto subway tracks in February, and was helped back up onto the platform by others nearby. And in another high-profile incident in New York, a man was saved by a Good Samaritan after being pushed onto subway tracks in Harlem on Christmas morning.