Just a day after we heard survey results showing that Bay Area residents largely don't feel safe on BART anymore, a crazed suspect pacing a train in the Transbay Tube apparently slashed a man with a meat cleaver.
Mission Local has the news from eyewitnesses to the attack, who say that a man "wearing a balaclava and pacing up and down a BART train this afternoon slashed a fellow passenger across the back with a meat cleaver, and caused more than a dozen other riders to scurry away in fear, according to a witness to the scene."
The incident happened on an eastbound BART train in the Transbay Tube, and apparently the chaos caused by the man's behavior preceded the ultimate slashing attack.
The witness tells Mission Local that passengers had to “jump out of the way” of the suspect, and, "Everyone started running through the cars, trying to get as much distance between themselves and this guy as possible."
The only evidence of the incident from BART comes via the tweet below announcing "police activity" and halted trains at West Oakland just after 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Red/Yellow/Green/Blue service is not stopping at West Oakland station in both directions due to police activity. We will update as we receive further information. https://t.co/2TH6uqWurV pic.twitter.com/UtC9MR1NSV— BART (@SFBART) May 10, 2023
I've personally never seen someone roaming around with a butcher's cleaver on BART and actually drawing blood, but there's a first time for everything!
Thankfully, in this case, the victim was reportedly not gravely injured, but this could have gone much worse.
Cool, cool, just a guy with a clever chasing people through trains on @SFBART.— James Temple (@jtemple) May 10, 2023
The victim was "in good spirits" as he was taken away on a gurney, and the wound did not appear very serious, according to Mission Local's witness, James Temple, who also tweeted about the incident.
Update: KPIX reports that BART officials have confirmed that a suspect is in custody in the case, but they have not confirmed any other elements of the story, or provided information on the condition of the victim.
Update 2: KRON4 has it from BART police that the suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Charles Johnson of San Francisco, and he allegedly "tried to flee the train with the victim's backpack after it stopped at the West Oakland station but was arrested, police said. Officers recovered the knife and the backpack." They add that the victim was "hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries."
Previously: People Are Ditching BART Because of Safety and Uncleanliness, Claims Pro-Business Group Poll