BART to investigate report of increased rapes, sexual assaults

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- New numbers show violent sex crimes are on the rise on BART property.

The report comes as BART plans to meet Tuesday to talk about police staffing at its stations.

BART is really seeing a jump in sex crimes, with the most recent one happening in Berkeley in May after a man exposed himself to a woman.

Riders ABC7 News spoke with said they are very surprised to hear about this.

According to our media partner the San Jose Mercury News, seven rapes have been reported this year on BART property, which is nearly double compared to last year.

Riders told ABC7 News sex crimes aren't something they think about happening on BART. "Wow, that's really, really crazy. I never felt that unsafe, but I do ride at times that are probably not as busy as early in the morning. That's really surprising," BART rider Justina Breen said.

A man named Rusty Stapp will be attending a meeting that will be held on Tuesday. Officials said he was robbed on a train by a large violent mob of people. He is suing BART and wants the agency to be more transparent with its customers.

"Crime is getting worse by the day. The statistics report it - not just assaults and robberies, but sexual assaults, and things that are even more tragic. That shouldn't have to happen. I'm a big proponent of public transportation. I want to use it whenever I can, but right now that's changed," Stapp said.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and will focus on police staffing and crime statistics.

"Aggravated assaults are actually down by a couple, so the numbers are smaller when you look at it as a whole than you would see in a city. But, nevertheless you want to make it as safe as possible for all the riders," BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said.

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