Metro offers reward for information on assault of bus operator

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Here is the news release from Metro and photos of the suspect are above:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Chair of Metro’s Board of Directors today announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect who recently boarded a Metro bus and assaulted a Metro bus operator causing injuries.

The incident occurred on Friday, May 10 at approximately 7:35 p.m. as the Metro bus was traveling along Ventura Boulevard at Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley.

The suspect boarded Metro Bus line 150 in Studio City and became angry with the Bus Operator over a fare dispute. The suspect then punched the bus operator in the head knocking him unconscious. The suspect then exits the bus and flees the location in an unknown direction.

The suspect is described as a male/Hispanic in his mid-20’s, 5’8’’ to 5’10” in height with a thin build and long shoulder length dark hair in a ponytail. He was last seen wearing a black Chicago Bulls hat, black T-shirt, with black baggy jeans and black shoes with white soles.

The Metro bus operator, a six-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), suffered injuries to his head and was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital where he was treated and later released. He remains off duty due to his injuries and emotional trauma suffered as a result of the attack.

Anyone with information regarding this crime on board a Metro bus should contact the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Transit Services Bureau, and speak with Detective James Eggers at (213) 922-3625.

Reward funding is made possible by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Sheriff’s patrols target customer safety and other issues on the Blue Line

The Blue Line's Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station. Photo by Sean_Marshall via Flickr creative commons.

The Blue Line’s Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station. Photo by Sean_Marshall via Flickr creative commons.

Earlier this month, from April 8 to 10, the Transit Bureau Service of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department began a new operational concept to improve safety on the Blue Line.

The concept is called TRUST (Transit Rail Urban Saturation Team) and it consists of deputies saturating parts of the Blue Line and conducting conducting zero tolerance patrols on the trains and station platforms. It’s a combination of fare enforcement, train patrols, fixed posts for police and mobile, random foot patrols — and the LASD is saying more of these type of operations will be done in the future.

During the three days that the operation took place: 895 citations were issued as well as 142 misdemeanor arrests and 11 felony arrests, according to the LASD. This initial iteration focused on the part of the line between the Firestone and Rosa Parks stations. 

“Our goal is to reduce the conditions that breed crime, disorder and insecurity. Operation TRUST is the first in a series of targeted enforcement efforts to improve security and enhance the riding experience for transit patrons and transit employees,” wrote the Sheriff’s Department in a news release.

The Blue Line had an average of 88,023 weekday boardings in February, the latest ridership statistics available. Also from the Sheriff’s news release:

Each day 350,000 passengers ride the Metro Rail system in Los Angeles and 1.2 million passengers ride Metro Buses. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is responsible for securing the Metro system and is committed to ensuring a low level of crime and disorder.

Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local sheriff’s station or police department. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

Please remember, if you SEE SOMETHING that you believe is suspicious or doesn’t look right to you, SAY SOMETHING by calling: (888) 950-SAFE (7233), or your local police department.

New Metro website stresses safety

Here’s the news release from Metro:

New Metro Web Site Stresses Safety

Riders Should Be Aware of their Surroundings Following Boston Bombings

Heightened transit security remains in effect a day after a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing at least three and injuring scores. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) officials continue intensifying patrols and encouraging riders to be aware.

“We are reminding rail passengers that if they see something they should say something,” Sheriff’s Commander Pat Jordan of the Metro Transit Services Bureau said. “We want every rider to know they are empowered to help keep our system safe.”

To give riders tools for increasing transit awareness, the L.A. County Sheriff’s department has launched a new web site, TransitWatchLA.org. It is full of up to date information on safety and security enhancements. TransitWatchLA.org was funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and uses a wealth of the department’s resources.

“Our signature initiative is See Something Say Something,” Jordan said. “It means involving every passenger in safety and security efforts.”

Most travelers keep their luggage near them. “If you see a bag left unattended, that is when you should say something,” Jordan noted.  “Also, if a stranger asks you to watch a bag while they go somewhere else. You should report that.”

If riders see a suspicious package or witness a crime, the easiest way to contact the sheriff’s department is to call 9-1-1. You can also contact Metro sheriff’s deputies and security personnel by calling (888) 950-SAFE (7233). Be ready to give the dispatcher a description of the unattended item or suspicious behavior, the exact location, the bus or train number and direction you are traveling. Riders can also alert Metro security by pushing the button at the emergency intercom in stations or on trains.

Heightened security on Metro today in wake of explosions in Boston

In the wake of today’s explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Metro security is on a heightened state of alert while normal Metro bus and rail service continues.

Metro passengers are likely to see or encounter extra patrols by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which provides security for the Metro system. This may include bomb sniffing dogs at Los Angeles Union Station and other Metro facilities.

Metro reminds the public: “See Something, Say Something” to report any suspicious activity or unattended packages. In order to contact the Sheriff’s Department, call 323-563-5000 or press the intercom in rail stations to speak to law enforcement. Passengers can also seek Metro personnel who are present on many rail platforms.

 

Every lane is a bike lane

Bike Safety campaign billboards throughout Los Angeles County

Bike Safety campaign billboards throughout Los Angeles County

 

In the spirit of sharing the road, Metro launched the “Every lane is a bike lane” campaign in late March to increase motorists’ awareness of cyclists’ rights to the road.

Not everyone—both motorists and cyclists—realizes that cyclists are allowed use of a full lane to safely navigate certain traffic situations. This includes keeping clear of cars turning right, doors opening on parallel parked cars, making a left-hand turn and riding on a narrow road. (Here is a helpful DMV guide for cyclists).

A project of Metro’s Creative Services and Marketing groups, the 'Every Lane is a Bike Lane' campaign is just one in a longer list of bicycle directives to be implemented by the agency’s bicycle planning program directed at motorists to increase awareness of cyclists’ safety.

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Heads up, watch for trains

Metro held a press event this morning at the Blue Line Vernon Station to bring attention to train safety. While motor vehicle accidents have shown a steady decline over the past 23 years, pedestrian incidents remain a problem.

Metro reminds all passengers to pay attention to warning signals and bells at rail crossings and to engage in safe behavior around the tracks and on train platforms. Metro has also partnered with Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center to deal with the increase of suicides along the alignment through community outreach and intervention.

Here are a pair of Metro staff reports on Blue Line safety; the first lists safety improvements that have been made over the years and the second explains items discussed and recommended by a Blue Line safety task force that Metro convened last year.

A new wrap on the Blue Line. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.

A new wrap on the Blue Line. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.

Read the full press release from Metro after the jump.

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Information being sought in shooting on Blue Line

At 6:16 p.m., a 19-year-old man was shot on a southbound Blue Line at 5th Street and Long Beach Boulevard in downtown Long Beach, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. The LASD tweeted that three to four suspects were subsequently seen running eastbound down 6th Street in Long Beach. The victim was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Transit Services Bureau at (323) 563-5000.

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.