Update: BART Police Arrest Suspect Wanted for Two Recent Attacks

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The BART Police Department has announced the arrest of a suspect wanted in connection with two recent violent attacks on the BART system.  42-year-old Mario Christopher Washington of Berkeley was arrested Monday morning in Oakland after he was spotted by an Oakland Fire Department investigator.

At approximately 8:39 a.m., the BART Police Department received two transfer calls from both the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland Fire Department telling us the fire investigator spotted the suspect.

Several officers responded to the corner of 9th Street and Broadway where they were flagged down by the fire investigator who made the initial call.  With the help of that initial tip, BART officers located the suspect and placed him under arrest.  Washington was arrested just more than two hours after the public release of suspect images from two recent attacks that were taken by surveillance cameras on board BART trains.

Washington has been booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and battery.

BART would like to thank the Alameda County Probation Department for contacting us this morning to provide information on the possible suspect, our media partners for distributing the suspect photos, the Oakland Police Department for assisting us in the area search, our officers for locating and arresting the suspect, and the Oakland Fire Department inspector who called in and gave us the description and location of the suspect.

Washington is under arrest for the following crimes:

  • On August 3, 2017, at about 1931 hours, a male victim was seated on a train when a male suspect hit him in the head with an unknown metal object. The suspect also punched and kicked the victim before fleeing the train and running out of the station. The victim and witnesses say the attack was unprovoked. The victim was treated for a laceration to his head and transported to the hospital via ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.
  • On August 5, 2017, at approximately 1930 hours, the same suspect was on a San Francisco-bound train approaching Embarcadero Station.  The suspect approached a man on the train and struck the man two times in the face with a closed fist.  The victim does not know the suspect. The victim received medical treatment at the scene for non-life threatening injuries.

All 669 of BART’s existing fleet have four working surveillance cameras. The 775 Fleet of the Future train cars will have six cameras each.

The arrest serves as a reminder that “See Something, Say Something” is more than a slogan. Members of the public are encouraged to report suspicious behavior or unattended packages.

What should you do when you observe something out of the ordinary? Report it to a BART employee.

If you are in a station:

  • Notify the Station Agent or a BART Police Officer or
  • Use a white courtesy phone located on the platform to contact a Station Agent or
  • Use a payphone to call BART Police at 1-877-679-7000 or dial 911.
  • If you use a cellphone to make your report, move away from the suspicious object or person first.

If you are on a train:

  • Use the intercom located at the end of the car to call the Train Operator or
  • Move away from the item/person and use your cell phone to call BART police at 1-877-679-7000. If you dial 911 on your cell phone, you will likely be transferred to the California Highway Patrol dispatch which may delay response to your report. Also, remember that most cell phones will not work inside BART’s tunnels.

When you make your report:

  • Be prepared to give a description of the suspicious item or person.
  • Describe the exact location as best as you can. For example, each BART train car has an individual number—you can locate that number above the doors at either end of the car. In stations, the platforms have numbers as well—look at the electronic message signs that display train arrival information—the platform number is noted on the sign.
  • If you are able and it is safe, stay in the area so you can answer questions from the responding officers.
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12 COMMENTS

    • The victims were actually sub-Saharan African and he was envious since he couldn’t pronounce their names, and his is Washington.

  1. Some teens were using pepper spray on riders and then attempted to rob them. I’m not riding BART to Sasn Francisco anymore. I’ll just use UBER from now on. Why take a chance of getting your head bashed in, being pepper sprayed or risk a robbery!

  2. Lola, you’re safer on BART than Uber. Uber is “internet hitchhiking.” You’re getting into a car with any Tom, Dick or Harry you met on the internet. Some Uber drivers admit to getting jobs with Uber with the intention of robbing customers (male and female) and sexually assaulting women. Google it! Uber and Lyft are too risky. They’re driving their personal vehicle, and they can take you (or not take you) anywhere they want. Or do anything they want to you. There are stories of murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, armed robbery, etc. all over the internet and the news. Wake up!

    • Melanie .. Thanks for your input. These BART attacks occur during times when the trains don’t have a lot of people in them. They rarely occur during the “rush” hours .. morning and late afternoons. If I want to head for San Francisco, it would be on the weekends when the trains have fewer passengers. I never have my cell phone out texting or playing games while on BART at any time. That’s just asking for trouble.

      Now, when I take UBER or LYFT, and don’t personally know the driver — a stranger, I do not travel without packing “heat”…….if you get my drift. I have the documentation to prove that this is legal. I am trained in Krav maga and martial arts and I’m 5’10” … My defense mechanism is in the front pocket of a nicely reinforced jacket where I usually keep my right hand. I spend several days a week at a firing range! If the driver tries something funny, he will not be very pleased. I am also aware that both men and women who drive for a living, might be tempted to pull something. Unfortunately, these are the times we live in and we have to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

      • What prevented taxi drivers from doing the same thing since the 20th century? What if the driver floors it and crashes and you’re hurt anyways? Whenever someone says “these are the times” I assume they’re a delusional christian and just want the world to end already.

        • Dmitri, I can assure you that I am not a Christian, delusional or otherwise. Just because a taxi driver “floors” it, doesn’t mean someone would automatically get hurt… there are such things as seatbelts ……. and if Princess Di would have had been wearing her’s, she would be alive today just like Dodi’s security guard is.

  3. The difference between a taxi company and Uber or Lyft (especially Uber) is taxi companies are highly regulated and Uber and Lyft are highly unregulated. Taxi drivers – despite not always the cream of the crop are actual employees driving a company vehicle clocking in and out. They’re screened, and their vehicles have to pass inspection. Uber – general contractors – strangers off the street. Like Melanie said – it’s not any different than hitchhiking. Uber has been hiring CONVICTED FELONS since Sept. 2016. Do taxi companies hire felons?

    I don’t think it’s safe (especially for women late at night) in a taxi or Uber.

    Uber and Lyft are weird internet gigs. They’ll hire ANYONE. If you take Uber, you sign away your rights if anything happens. Most people are too lazy or foolish to read the terms and conditions. With a taxi company, if anything happens – you have recourse. Like Yellow Cab with deep pockets.

    • You can be a convicted felon for a number of things, including non-violent offenses. I’m glad companies are willing to hire them instead of stigmatizing someone for past mistakes. And no they don’t hire anyone, a DUI will keep you from getting hired and that’s not a felony. Uber and Lyft screen their employees and their vehicles. There’s a danger in everything, even driving your own car.

  4. As of 2001- this guy is a convicted killer. He should’ve been in prison.

    No one in their right minds would hire a convicted felon. It’s not worth the risk to the company or the other employees. Why hire a POS when you can hire a good, honest person for the same position? If you don’t like it – QUIT COMMITTING CRIMES. THEY SHOULD BE STIGMITIZED – FOR LIFE. I have no empathy for anyone who commits crimes. As far as drug convictions – quit doing drugs.

    Leopards don’t change their spots. Once a lowlife – always a lowlife. Like this idiot. Convicted of killing someone, and convicted of grand theft and burglary (different years) after getting out – and now this crime on BART.

    Rarely does someone go straight after getting out. Get real.

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