BART system delayed as police investigate gun report

BART trains resume running at the West Oakland BART station after a train was held Thursday morning as policed searched for a suspected armed

BART trains resume running at the West Oakland BART station after a train was held Thursday morning as policed searched for a suspected armed passenger.

BART commuters experienced a system-wide delay Thursday morning as the BART Police Department investigated a report of a man with a gun possibly boarding a train.

BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said a rider called shortly before 8 a.m., reporting possibly having seen a man with a gun outside the Richmond BART station. The rider thought the man might have gotten on a train at the station.

Trost said BART police calculated which train he would have boarded, based on the time of the report and which trains were at the station, and determined that this train was likely arriving at the West Oakland station. They held the train at West Oakland while police  “went car-to-car to find the man,” Trost said.  But they did not find anyone matching his description, or a gun on the train, she said. BART police stopped all train traffic through the West Oakland station during their search, causing a slowdown throughout the BART system.

Because of the backup, trains became so crowded that some people could not board them. A West Oakland BART station agent said while the train was held in the station, they weren’t letting people into the station because it was too crowded.

Trains started running again around 8:30, but Trost said that even after 9 a.m., “There was still a backup, once the trains were moving.”

Sanjay Mahadi, who was at the Lake Merritt stop after having gotten on at the Dublin/Pleasanton stop, said he was held for 20 minutes at the Oakland Coliseum station. “I was supposed to get here 20 minutes ago,” Mahadi said.

Dan K., who declined to give his last name, got off a train at West Oakland because he was told that the trains were going to be running at half speed. “I’m waiting for the trains to get less crowded,” he said.

As of about 10:00 a.m, BART was reporting system delays of 10 to 15 minutes.

Oakland North will continue to follow this story.

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