LOS ANGLES – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn Monday called for “a full accounting” of security protocols in the aftermath of a recent attack on a woman on a Metro A Line train in Long Beach by two suspects who are being sought.
The Metro Blue Line was renamed the Metro A Line last year.
“We have multi-million-dollar law enforcement contracts, Metro security, and 300 Metro Ambassadors who have been hired to ride our buses and trains,” Hahn said in a statement Monday.
Hahn, who chairs the board of supervisors, is also a Metro director. According to Hahn, the alleged attack occurred on Wednesday on a northbound A Line (formerly Blue Line) train.
“But where were they when this woman was beaten up on the Blue Line last week?” asked Hahn. “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.
“Enough is enough,” Hahn said. “Our trains need to be safe for our residents.”
The victim, a 53-year-old woman, told her story to ABC7 but did not share her name. She said she was beaten up by a woman who also used racial slurs.
“I thought I was going to die,” the woman told ABC7.
An eyewitness on the train, Twila Mahone, told ABC7 that the victim was on the phone with police while trying to get the conductor to stop the train for 11 minutes.
“It was a brutal attack,” Mahone said. “A very, very brutal attack that should never happen.” According to Mahone, the train finally stopped at the Artesia station.
A statement from the Long Beach Police Department reads:
“On May 17, 2023, at approximately 5:38 p.m., officers responded to the Metro Rail – Compton Station regarding a battery incident which was reported to have occurred on the train between the Metro Rail – Pacific Coast Highway Station and Willow Station. Upon arrival, officers contacted a female adult victim with minor injuries to her upper body. The preliminary investigation indicates the victim was riding the train when a female adult suspect confronted her and hit her multiple times. When the victim left the train, a male adult suspect knocked her phone out from her hands. The suspects fled the scene before police arrived. The Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel provided medical aid and the victim declined transportation to a local hospital. Suspect information and the motive for the battery is under investigation. At this time, there is no information to indicate this is a hate or bias motivated incident. The investigation is ongoing.”
The victim told ABC7 that she doesn’t take the train every day, but after this attack she says she might never ride the Metro train again.
Hahn said she will also ask Metro to explain the protocol of what happens if a rider needs to ask a train operator to stop the train and whether that protocol was followed in Wednesday’s incident.