In Metro's 3rd violent attack this week, suspect arrested for Encino bus robbery

Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Suspect in custody after robbery, assault on Metro bus in Encino
There have been at least two stabbings and a violent robbery on the Metro system since Monday.

ENCINO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A suspect is in custody after a violent robbery on a Metro bus Tuesday in Encino - the third assault on the transit system in the past 24 hours.

The latest attack happened on a Metro bus at Ventura and Balboa boulevards around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Police responded and took the suspect into custody.

Initial reports described the incident as a stabbing, but a Metro spokesperson later clarified that the suspect is accused of robbing a man's cellphone and hitting him in the chest, but there was no stabbing involved.

There have been at least two stabbings and a violent robbery on the Metro system since Monday.

LAPD officers arrested the suspect as he was walking away from the bus. The victim did not require hospitalization or medical assistance.

There were two other violent incidents on the Metro system Monday - one on a bus in Glendale and the other at the Vermont/Athens C Line train station in South Los Angeles.

A woman was hospitalized after she was stabbed at a Metro station in West Athens Monday night, authorities said. The incident is one of two attacks on the transit system to happen within hours of each other.

Frequent riders of Metro say they are scared for their safety, while a county supervisor says law enforcement is not being used effectively on the system.

"Oftentimes it doesn't feel very safe to ride on the Metro," said Reginald McKanie, who rides the system daily. "There's been a purse snatching. I've seen a lady get her phone out of her hand and watched the kid run out of the train and nobody stop him. I've seen some fights, homeless people."

Around 7 p.m. Monday in Glendale, an altercation took place on an eastbound Metro bus on Los Feliz Road causing the operator to stop the bus.

Four juveniles exited the bus and the fight continued on the street. Two of the four people involved were stabbed.

Glendale police arrested two people.

Then just before 9 p.m. Monday, an assault took place at the Vermont/Athens station where a woman was stabbed in the arm inside an elevator and the suspect got away.

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, a Metro board member, expressed frustration that the board has leaned more toward its unarmed ambassador program for passenger safety rather than law enforcement.

"Now you see what is happening when we do not allow law enforcement to be at the table, to give us best practices," Barger said.

She wants to see an action plan put forward by the three agencies who have law enforcement responsibility for Metro: The Los Angeles Police Department, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Long Beach Police Department.

"The one group that has not been at the table in my opinion has been law enforcement," Barger said. "We have gone down a path of bringing ambassadors on, thinking that would replace law enforcement. They have been silenced in the last couple of years as a result of the direction the board wanted to go."