BART addresses rise in domestic violence reports on system

Two arrested after spotted on tracks at Richmond BART station

The recent focus on the NFL’s handling of domestic violence cases involving players has prompted BART to reeducate its passengers on DV incidents on the transit system.

The transit agency’s news blog on Tuesday cited three recent domestic violence-related arrests to show that such crimes do happen on the public transit system. Reports of DV cases have been on the rise in recent years, BART Senior Web Producer Melissa Jordan reported.

On Aug. 22, according to BART, witnesses saw a man striking a woman in the bus zone at Bay Fair Station and grabbing a stroller carrying a 2-year-old. On Sept. 14, witnesses at Dublin Pleasanton Station saw a man shove his girlfriend and force her into a car in the parking garage. And just last weekend, witnesses reported a fight between dating women at South Hayward Station. All three cases led to arrests, the transit agency said.

BART says its police officers are trained on handling DV cases and are using a relatively new law, AB 716, to ban abusers from BART property from 30 days to a year.

Since the law was enacted 18 months ago, about 340 stay away orders were issued, including 74 for domestic battery, the transit agency said. Another 64 were issued for people accused of battery or threats to riders, 42 for battery or threats to BART police officers and 42 for battery or threats to BART employees.

Reports of domestic violence cases appear to be on the rise on the BART system, having increased from 61 in 2010 to 95 last year, said Officer Ken Dam, the BART police crime analyst.