Safety and security on Metro is on the mind of many riders after cellphone video showed a brutal beating of a man on a train. The video went viral after being posted on Facebook.
The incident happened early Sunday morning on the Green Line and the fight involved two teenagers and two men.
While there is a lot of finger-pointing going on about who is to blame for the fight, there is clearly concern about safety on board some trains. Even though some passengers seem to have no problem, others told us they have seen the violence with their own eyes.
Anthony Thomas, 46, was seen in that video badly beaten on that Green Line train. The fight allegedly started when two teenagers were putting their feet on the back of a Metro seat.
It escalated into a fight with a 54-year-old man who then got into a fight with Thomas.
People automatically ask the question: where was security? But passengers understand what officers are up against.
“It's difficult for the Metro police and the Metro staff to get to a train when there is a problem because the trains move so quickly,” said one Metro rider. “They are at one stop and then they are at the next one. I think there could be an improved system for them to react to those sorts of situations.”
Metro says officers are strategically positioned throughout the system and they say they proved it on Sunday when Metro Transit Police intercepted the train and identified the two adult men in the video.
One passenger says she has noticed some changes.
“I do see a lot of Metro Transit [Police] at the stops,” said the passenger. “More now than recently, so it's getting better.”
She notices many fights and safety issues stem from teenagers, but defusing the situation is risky.
“It makes you scared to intervene with situations and that's why people on the train while the guy was getting attacked, everybody was just moving out of the way,” she said. “With tons of people on the train, someone could have hit the button and alerted the operator, but people just don't want to get involved because it's dangerous.”
Other Metro riders told us they feel perfectly safe on Metro and have very few negative encounters.
As for the brutal fight on Sunday, Metro says it is investigating with the U.S. Attorney's Office and charges are expected.