7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Suspicious man, package closes Richmond BART, halts Amtrak service for hours

(The following story by Robert Salonga appeared on the Contra Costa Times website on July 21.)

RICHMOND, Calif. — A man dressed like Indiana Jones left a suspicious backpack with wires sticking out on a westbound Capital Corridor Amtrak train, halting BART and Amtrak service for about four hours.

The suspect escaped by jumping out of a top window on the double-decker train and running away while the train was at the Richmond BART station, which is a transfer station between BART and Amtrak.

Police used a water cannon, which utilizes a strong burst of water, to destroy the backpack. No bomb was found inside, but an electrical device with red and black wires was, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said.

"We were not able to determine what it was," he said.

While police investigated the suspicious backpack, the BART parking lot and surrounding streets were blocked off with yellow tape by police. Frustrated BART customers waited outside the barricade for service to resume or to pick up their cars from the parking lot.

BART trains headed for Richmond were turned around at the El Cerrito-Del Norte station. Buses ferried passengers between the two stations.

"I can't believe this, it was a day I where I was looking forward to getting off early, beating the traffic and going home," said AC Transit bus driver Michael Graham, whose car was stuck in the lot. "I hope it's not a false alarm, for all of this."

Monday's incident began when a police received reports of a man acting suspiciously, leaving the backpack in one Amtrak car and then removing windows from another, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said. The man had boarded the train in Martinez.

When the train stopped in Richmond, the man threatened a train conductor who approached him, and then jumped out the top window of the double-decker train — an approximate 15-foot drop — before running into a nearby neighborhood, French said.

"Because we needed to clear the area and the train, we didn't have enough officers to pursue the suspect," Gagan said. "We prioritized."

Police are still searching for the suspect, described as a white man in his mid 30s to mid 40s, 6 feet tall, 140 pounds, with a goatee and ponytail, and wearing a brown coat, blue jeans and a tan shirt. He was also sporting a wide-brimmed Indiana Jones-style hat, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said.

BART service resumed just after 3 p.m. and the Amtrak train left around 3:30 p.m. Amtrak employees blocked off the two compartments of the train where the backpack was found.

Anyone with information is asked to call local authorities, French said.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2018 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

Norfolk Southern’s relocation to Atlanta to be made official today
How Atlanta landed Norfolk Southern’s new HQ
Metro-North gets 2 year extension to install PTC
Postponed again: Federal requirement on passenger railroad safety programs
NS, UP enacting intermodal interline service changes
Amtrak asks for extra limits on 108-year-old swing-span bridge
LIRR has worst on-timer performance in 19 years
NJ Transit to decide on Bombardier order worth up to $3.6 billion
Congressman works to save 30th Street Station’s flipping departure board
Frustrated Metra riders air complaints about delays, overcrowding
Japan debuts next-generation bullet train with top speed of 224 mph
Railroad Retirement and unemployment insurance taxes in 2019
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines