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.”