Suspect charged with assault for attacks on BART trains

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By Bay City News Service

A convicted killer was charged today with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor count of battery for three recent attacks on BART trains.

Mario Christopher Washington, a 42-year-old construction worker from San Pablo, was arraigned on those charges this afternoon in Alameda County Superior Court in Dublin.

According to the charges filed against him by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, Washington was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2001, grand theft in 2012 and second-degree commercial
burglary in 2014, all in Alameda County.

BART police officers arrested Washington at Ninth Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland at about 9 a.m. on Monday, about three hours after they held a news conference seeking the public's help in catching him,
deputy police chief Ed Alvarez said.

The arrest was made after an Oakland fire inspector told police that he'd seen the suspect in that area, Alvarez said.

BART police Officer Bryan Trabanino wrote in a probable cause statement that Washington allegedly hit a male victim in the head with a pair of bolt cutters in an apparently unprovoked attack on a train traveling
between the San Leandro and Bay Fair stations at 7:31 p.m. last Thursday.

Trabanino said the victim suffered major injuries.

Trabanino wrote that in a second attack on Friday Washington, who was armed with bolt cutters, charged at a man who was with a friend and a group of small children.

Trabanino said the man got in front of Washington to prevent him from attacking the group and Washington left the area. The BART officer didn't say where the incident occurred.

Trabanino said that in a third attack Washington struck a passenger on a train with a closed fist on Saturday.

Trabanino didn't say where that attack occurred but Alvarez said after Washington was arrested on Monday that it occurred on a San Francisco-bound train that was approaching the Embarcadero station.

Alvarez said none of the victims were robbed and police don't know the motive for the apparently unprovoked and random attacks.

Trabanino said that when BART police interviewed Washington he "admitted to the crime he was wanted for" but didn't specify which attack or attacks he was referring to.

The assault with a deadly weapon charges are for the attacks on Thursday and Friday and the misdemeanor battery on a passenger charge is for the attack on Saturday.