Officials identify man accused of assaulting passenger with knife on BART train in Oakland

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Sunday, August 5, 2018
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Suspect wanted for BART train assault at MacArthur station identified

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Officials have identified a man accused of assaulting a passenger on a BART train at the MacArthur station as Solomon Espinosa, 27, who is believed to be a transient in the Oakland area.

Police say two men had a fight involving a knife aboard a train that prompted the closure of the station Friday night.

"It was scary," said Zaneta Kowalski, a rider who saw one man who had been slashed. "Especially after something that happened recently. He had one slash on his face deep. He was holding his face while he bled."

BART officials say a fight broke out between two men on board a Richmond-bound train. One witness said it was violent. "There was blood staining the chairs. It was enough to have the majority of the people in the first car evacuate," said one witness who did not want to be identified.

One man suffered a wound to his arm.

RELATED: Memorial service for BART stabbing victim Nia Wilson held in Oakland

The incident happened just an hour after a vigil for Nia Wilson who was fatally stabbed at the same station last month. "It was not God's purpose for Nia to die on that platform," said Oakland resident Selena Wilson. "Not her purpose."

A small group gathered to honor the 18-year-old woman who died in the unprovoked stabbing attack. Her sister was also stabbed, but survived.

John Cowell, 27, is charged with her murder. So far, police have no motive but many believe it was racially motivated. "I don't think anything like this is ever random," said Ariana Cohen, an Oakland resident. "When a woman of color dies, it's never random."

For more stories, photos, and video on BART and recent incidents, visit this page.