Cleaver-style knife used in stabbing on BART train, police say

A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon at West Oakland BART station, for stabbing another man with a cleaver-style knife and robbery, BART officials say. 

Charles Johnson, 24, of San Francisco, stabbed the 25-year-old victim as he ran away from Johnson aboard an Antioch-bound yellow line train. BART officials said Johnson attempted to flee with the victim's backpack after exiting the train at West Oakland station, but BART police officers apprehended the suspect around 1 p.m. without incident, officials said. 

The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim's backpack and the weapon used in the attack were both recovered, officials said. 

Johnson will be booked at Santa Rita Jail for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and probation violation. A prohibition order has also been issued. This means the suspect could be banned from BART for at least 30 days and up to one year.

"I’m not surprised," said Mary Wardak. "I used to take BART a lot and then I stopped because people were smoking crack on BART a lot and a lot of sus things were happening. So I don’t take BART very often anymore."

 Wardak’s friend Caitlin Johnson said, "I told her last night like, ‘Oh shoot I don’t want to BART alone. I’d rather just meet you at a station to BART together.’"

A recent Bay Area Council poll shows that 45% of people choose not to ride BART because they don't think it's safe

BART's interim Chief of Police Kevin Franklin said the BART Police Department is using resources to maximize its visible presence on the system. 

Rebecca Saltzman, BART Director for District 3 said, "BART is safe to ride. I ride it most days of the week."

Saltzman said they have done a lot to improve safety. This includes more than doubling the amount of officers on trains, enhancing lighting, and investing in cleanliness.

Saltzman said, "We have increased the presence of both uniformed police officers as well as unarmed transit ambassadors and crisis intervention specialists who help people who are having a mental health crisis."

Saltzman encourages BART riders to use the BART Watch app to report any crimes.