Woman attacked on BART by unknown assailant says she won't ride again

Melanie Woodrow Image
Friday, September 15, 2023
Woman attacked on BART says she won't ride again
A Walnut Creek woman says she was attacked while riding BART and has no immediate plans to ride again.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Walnut Creek woman says she was attacked while riding BART and has no immediate plans to ride again.

BART's police chief says the transit agency has been doing a lot to improve security since that attack in May of this year.

"BART, I have never felt safe," said Karin P, who asked that we not use her last name.

She says she got an eerie feeling while riding BART from Walnut Creek to San Francisco on May 12 just after 2 p.m. So much so, that she says she texted a friend "BART is ridiculously scary" when she sat down that day.

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She says another passenger got close to her, then followed her from car to car as she moved to avoid him, before eventually yelling at her.

"'I'm going to (expletive) kill your husband,'" Karin quoted her assailant.

At that moment, she decided to get off the train.

"And as I was getting off, he grabbed my purse and it made me flip around on my back," Karin said."He just decided to run out of the car with me -- still holding onto my purse -- and at that point, my head was just banging into things until it banged into the BART car."

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Bystanders came to her aid and BART says a call was made to them by a station cleaner. They say police arrived nine minutes after that call.

"It was such a scary situation being stuck on BART and having somebody who I felt was a predator. I didn't really know what he was going to do to me," Karin said.

BART's Interim Police Chief Kevin Franklin said, "We have heard from women that they often feel unsafe if they're on train cars that are empty or just with very few people on board."

Franklin tells ABC7 News safety improvements have been made since May, including running shorter train cars to make the spaces busier.

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But Karin says the car she was on was full. Also that she had seen two BART police officers earlier on an escalator but couldn't find them when going car-to-car to avoid her attacker.

"So we have officers out patrolling the system at all times. We can't be on every train," Franklin said.

She says two different detectives have been assigned to her case. So far the person who attacked her has not been identified.

"I think the system is safe," Franklin said.

But Karin doesn't agree. She now carries pepper spray and is finding other ways to get around besides taking BART.

"At this time no, I won't," Karin said.

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