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Update: Suspect who slashed passenger on BART train with meat cleaver identified

PIX Now - Tuesday Afternoon Edition 5/10/23
PIX Now - Wednesday Afternoon Edition 5/10/23 09:17

OAKLAND -- A man armed with a meat cleaver on an eastbound BART train slashed a fellow passenger in the back before attempting to steal the victim's backpack Wednesday afternoon while the moving train was in the Transbay Tube, according to transit officials.

BART issued a press release Wednesday afternoon that confirmed BART police officers arrested the suspect at the West Oakland station at approximately 1 p.m. in connection with the stabbing aboard an Antioch-bound train.

The suspect stabbed a 25-year-old man with "a cleaver-style knife" as the victim fled from the suspect on the train. The suspect tried to flee with the victim's backpack after exiting the train at West Oakland, but officers were able to apprehend him without incident. The victim was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police identified the suspect as 24-year-old San Francisco resident Charles Johnson. Officers recovered the weapon and the victim's backpack. 

Johnson will be booked at Santa Rita jail on assault with a deadly weapon and robbery charges as well as probation violation. Transit officials said prohibition order has been issued for Johnson, banning him from entering BART property.

Earlier reports by Mission Local indicated a man armed with a butcher knife was pacing up and down the eastbound train when he attacked the other passenger.   

The site quoted a witness named James Temple, who said he along with other passengers on the train car scrambled to get away from the armed suspect. Temple also tweeted about the incident, saying "Cool, cool, just a guy with a clever [sic] chasing people through trains on @SFBART."

In the story published on the Mission Local website, Temple said that the injury did not appear critical to the victim, who seemed to be in good spirits as authorities took him away on a gurney.  

The SF BART Alert Twitter account posted shortly after 1 p.m. that BART trains were not stopping at West Oakland in either direction due to police activity. Normal service was restored within a half an hour, according to transit officials.

BART officials had earlier confirmed that BART police had a person in custody following the police activity, but could not provide any information regarding the incident or "confirmed information on potential victim" at the time

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