BART mob attack victim calls on agency to release surveillance tapes of incident

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A victim of a mob attack on BART called on the agency Tuesday to release surveillance video from their new cameras of the young people who attacked him and his family on a train in Oakland.

RELATED: BART accused of withholding crime information from riders

"I'm here to really encourage you to take safety on BART seriously," BART crime victim Rusty Stapp said.
Stapp stood before the BART board's safety committee as someone who's been the victim of a violent crime on the system.

RELATED: BART discusses how, when it plans to share surveillance video of crimes

Stapp and his family were among several passengers beaten and robbed by a group of 30 to 40 young people at the coliseum station on April 22nd.

The crime that was captured on video cameras, but BART won't release them.

RELATED: BART to investigate report of increased rapes, sexual assaults

"I think part of it is releasing the videos of the incidents that have been going on," Stapp said.

But, BART's police chief says it isn't so simple.

"We don't want to jeopardize the prosecution of an individual who did something horrible to one of our riders, so it's a balance, and we'll be discussing it further here at BART as an organization," BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said.

RELATED: Dozens of teens rush Oakland BART train, rob passengers

BART has seen an increase in at least one violent crime, rape, for the first half of this year. There have been seven so far this year, compared with four that occurred all of last year.

"We need more officers," says Rojas.

Though 82 percent of BART's 134 officers are currently on patrol, Rojas says the system is still nearly 100 officers short of full staffing levels.

"When all these cameras disappear, I want to be sure as an agency we're still focusing as an agency on making sure the BART police department gets up to full strength," he said.

Bart's safety committee will consider new policies around the release of surveillance video, and crime data in general at its next meeting in August.

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