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Richmond Mayor Critical Of BART Security After Teens Assault Man

RICHMOND (CBS SF) – Police in the East Bay are investigating a Thursday morning assault by several teenagers near the Richmond BART Station that witnessed by the city's mayor.

BART police responded at 11:26 a.m. to several 911 calls reporting five or six juveniles were assaulting a man and kicking him in the head.

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BART spokesman Jim Allison said the victim was transported to a hospital for treatment. His condition was not immediately known.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt witnessed the attack as he arrived at the station about 11:20 a.m. and called 911, but what happened during the call and afterward him calling for change.

The mayor said the victim was being attacked by about a dozen teenagers who were filming the fight with their cell phones when he happened upon the assault Thursday morning.

"Then I saw a woman there screaming at them, 'Get out of here! Stop! Stop!'" said Butt. "I saw one of them run back when he was already on the ground and kick him in the head."

The mayor called 911, but was confronted with questions over jurisdiction from the dispatcher.

"I said, 'Is this RPD?' and they said 'Yes.' So I went ahead and started telling them about it, explained Butt. "And they said 'Oh, we've got to transfer you to BART.' And I had to do it all over again with BART."

But BART says the assault was a case for the Richmond police because it technically happened off BART property.

However, the proximity of the attack to the station is giving the mayor concerns about BART security. He said there was no station agent in the booth.

He also snapped a photo of BART employees sitting in a work truck nearby whom he said "appeared uninterested."

BART workers Richmond assault
BART workers sitting in truck during Richmond station assault (Tom Butt)

"I would not want to be put in a serious security situation in that station," said Butt. "Because nobody's there. Nobody's going to help you."

A BART spokesman says he has no information on what individual employers were doing at the time. Mayor Butt said he is going to follow up with both BART and the Richmond Police Department.

Responding officers searched the area for the juveniles but were not able to locate them.

Investigators have requested station video of the incident. No arrests have been made in connection with the attack.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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