Unruly BART passenger will not face felony

November 24, 2009 5:36:43 PM PST
The man at the center of a new controversy involving the BART police force will not face felony charges, but he did have a run-in with a different police department earlier the same day. Michael Gibson was arrested earlier this past Saturday by Daly City police who say he kicked an 84-year old man on a SamTrans bus.

Gibson was arraigned in Oakland Tuesday and he will not be charged with any felonies in connection with Saturday's incident. He will only be charged with three misdemeanors, disturbing the peace, indecent exposure, and public drunkenness.

The charges all stem from a Saturday incident at the West Oakland BART station. A passenger called 911 complaining that Gibson was making threats and yelling obscenities at passengers. A BART officer who responded is shown on a cell phone video pulling Gibson off the train and pushing him toward a glass window which shattered.

Both Gibson and the officer were injured.

Gibson's civil attorney John Burris told ABC7 late Tuesday afternoon that the lesser charges against his client could actually strengthen the civil case of brutally allegations against BART police.

"Clearly it matters, from my interpretation of the facts, that no charges related to the police or his conduct toward the police were not filed" he said. "So, in that sense, it was a very good decision and a very good day."

"I don't dispute the fact that policeman have to arrest people when they're drunk and disorderly. That's what they should've done," said Gibson's aunt Sylvia Hawkins. "All this other stuff that came up, about the policeman was hurt, Michael assaulted him, whatever, I never saw that."

The incident involving Gibson on the BART train Saturday afternoon was actually the second one Saturday. Daly City police actually arrested for assault and battery and charged with a misdemeanor for kicking an elderly man in the behind at the SamsTrans station at Serramonte Mall on Saturday morning.

He was cited and released in that incident and was out just a few hours later on the BART train.

Gibson has been in police custody at the jail in Dublin over the past several days. His bail was reduced from $51,000 to just $5,000, which means he could be out on bail and be released at any time.

LINK: BART press conference, release of 911 tapes


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