County Supervisor Demands Answers After Latest L.A. Metro Attack
The safety of L.A. Metro riders is on officials’ radar once again following a “brutal” act of violence on the A Line.
A 53-year-old woman says she was punched in the face repeatedly by other passengers after boarding the train in Long Beach last Wednesday. The victim, who is Asian, says her assailants also used racial slurs.
A witness told ABC News that the victim phoned police and tried for 11 minutes to get the conductor to stop the train.
County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who sits on Metro's Board of Directors, is demanding a full security review.
"We have multi-million-dollar law enforcement contracts, Metro security, and 300 Metro Ambassadors who have been hired to ride our buses and trains," she said.
“But where were they when this woman was beaten up on the Blue Line last week? With this many layers of security, why didn't anyone come to this woman's aid? This is far from the first time there has been an attack on our trains in recent months. I will be asking for a full accounting of where our transit ambassadors, Metro security, and Long Beach Police officers assigned to Metro were at the time of this attack.”
Deteriorating safety conditions aboard L.A. Metro trains were detailed in a nine-page report earlier this year. As California County News reported in March, L.A. Metro is exploring the creation of its own police force. The agency currently contracts with Los Angeles and Long Beach police as well as the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. It spends between $150-200 million on policing every year.
An audit found sheriff’s deputies rode the trains just 12 out of 178 weekly shifts. Most of the police call responses were from jurisdictions that don’t even contract with the system.
An L.A. Metro Board report released last month found a 34% increase in overall crime on the Red and Purple lines compared to the same month last year. There were three rapes and 39 instances of aggravated assault reported in February alone. Safety concerns are driving a steep drop in ridership among females, according to a 2022 survey.
L.A. Metro says it is aware of the concerns and is working on a plan to increase safety. The agency encourages riders to use the Transit Watch App to report any crimes.