New Metro Board chairman calls for more visible safety presence on trains and buses

- Just hours after a man was attacked by a group of juveniles inside a D.C. Metro station on Thursday, Councilmember Jack Evans was elected chairman of the Metro Board. Now, he is calling for increased police presence and better lighting in the transit system.

Thursday’s violent attack happened during the morning rush. A 35-year-old man was attacked by a group of teenagers at the Gallery Place-Chinatown station. A surveillance camera recorded the assault taking place on the platform.

According to one witness at the scene, "He's shoved to the ground and probably five or six teenagers are punching him in the head, kicking him in the face.”

We have learned new information from Metro about the police's response during the attack. Metro said it took place at 8:21 a.m. After the assault, the suspects jumped back on a Red Line train, and by 8:24 a.m., officers at the Woodley Park station were told to intercept the train. Once they did, six teenagers were arrested and charged with felony assault after the victim identified them.

Meanwhile, a few hours later, Councilmember Evans became Metro's board chairman. We immediately asked him what he planned to do about the violence on Thursday.

“It’s a discussion I’ll be having with the general manager about how we can come forward with new ideas to make it a safer system,” he said. “I believe Metro is safe, but there is the perception because of something like that happened at Gallery Place [Thursday] and events that have happened over the past year that maybe it’s not as safe as it could be.”

On Friday, Evans gave specifics on how to combat the violence.

He tweeted, "Need to get more police officers in the #WMATA system, a more visible safety presence on trains/buses, increase lighting, reduce crowding."

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