Richmond mayor witnesses teen mob attacking man near BART station

Photo of assault victim receiving help from Good Samaritans courtesy of Richmond Mayor Tom Butt.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt witnessed an attack in the area of Richmond BART station plaza Thursday morning, when about a dozen teenagers were apparently involved in an assault on a man.

A BART spokesman confirmed the incident. The mayor said he arrived at the station about 11:20 a.m. and witnessed the tail end of the assault.

“All I saw was several [of the teens] taking videos of something, then I saw the last one to leave kick the guy in the head,” Butt said. “They were run off by a brave woman screaming at them. A couple of other women were trying to help the guy. The victim was bloody and injured on the face and head.”

The mayor called 911 and was connected to BART police. He reported what occurred, then continued into the station, where he said he heard sirens responding to the battery scene roughly 10 minutes later.

BART police officers requested medical assistance for the victim, who was transported to a hospital, transit agency spokesman Jim Allison said. The victim’s condition was not immediately known, and no arrests have been reported in connection with the incident.

BART police alerted the Richmond Police Department to the battery, as it occurred in RPD’s jurisdiction.

“In the meantime, BPD has requested station video and will write a supplemental report that will be provided to RPD,” Allison said.

Mayor Dissatisfied with Station Security

After the incident, Mayor Butt expressed dissatisfaction regarding the station’s security, as well as the emergency dispatch process.

No station agent was in the booth at the time of the incident, the mayor said, and BART employees sitting in a work truck a short distance away “appeared uninterested.” The mayor snapped a photo of the work truck with his cellphone as evidence.

“I wonder if they even called 911,” the mayor said.

Allison said he had no information regarding the non-law enforcement BART employees at the scene.

Richmond’s mayor also expressed concern regarding dispatch, which apparently transferred him in error to BART police, when his call should have gone to Richmond police.

“I have been told that the problem of calling 911 from a cellphone in Richmond had been resolved and calls now go directly to RPD dispatch. Guess that’s not true,” the mayor said. “I initially called 233-1214 because of the cellphone issue, but the voicemail options are so difficult, I gave up and called 911.”

In emails, the mayor informed Richmond’s police chief about the issue, then proposed a fix for BART.

“BART should have at least one security person at every station at all times it is open,” he said.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m. — This afternoon, Mayor Butt returned to the station, took some more photos and made these observations:

“Still no station agent at Richmond BART. No one bothered to clean up the blood from this morning’s assault.”


  1. Well I am sure BART will take Butts suggestion and totally deny his request.

    Butts need to fix his city before trying to fix a private entity.

  2. Sorry to say, but these mob attacks are so commonplace in certain communities that they do not draw much attention anymore, other than from the victims and their friends. That Mayor Butts DID something says a lot about him. Adding more security and police doesn’t eliminate the problem, the problem is a culture that produces kids who would DO something like this.

    And the BART employees just sitting in their truck? Can you blame them? A 15 y/o KILLED someone in Richmond recently, and many more under 16 “children” have been arrested for violent crime in Richmond recently.

  3. Well said Richmond Citizen. The problem surely is a dysfunctional ghetto culture that produces the type of children who commit these violent crimes. But it is allowed to continue unchecked by a society that is afraid to call out said dysfunctional culture for its poor behavior. More security and police is necessary to send the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
    To those that say this is about poverty and inequities, nonsense. This is about ignorance and poor behaviour, things that every one of us has the power to do something about. One can be poor without stomping innocent people’s heads into the pavement.
    Time to start calling out this behavior for what it is.

  4. I don’t know how this kind of thing could happen in Richmond, there’s a Walk Against Violence like every other month! Maybe there should be more walks?

  5. Our City council is a joke and the RPA has waged war against the police. They cut their pay and want to keep taking from them. When the police take action RPA gets involved if they know the person.

    Now that Butts is involved he is upset with the 911 system? Well welcome Tom what we go through. You are the mayor you are no better than us this is what we deal with frequently.

  6. I can agree with the lousy phone system. We had called the non-emergency police number to report a guy doing donuts on our street, and it wasn’t picked and went into a convoluted “press X to be connected to” of so many levels that we came back to the start after 5-6 different levels and just as many minutes. after trying for 15 minutes, I gave up and just called a phone number listed for the beat officers in our area. Left two messages, and finally got through to the third one I tried. I didn’t feel like this was an issue to tie up 911 with.

    I got the RPA propaganda newspaper a week or so ago, and it was trying to spin how Richmond doesn’t have ENOUGH employees, comparing Richmond to Oakland (5X as large), even though Richmond has nearly twice as many employees as most similar sized Bay Area cities. I don’t think the phone system is due to a lack of employees, it’s just a bad system.

    As for the guy doing donuts all the time, it looks like RPD caught him, as seen on their Facebook page. He had a stolen gun with extended magazine as well. Just another innocent Richmond child trying to have some fun.

  7. Well John I’m fascinated how the subject just flies right over your head as you attempt to deflect it Richard Poes direction.
    That’s just the type of denial I’m talking about.