The Mercury News

Arrest made in Richmond BART station beating

- By Rick Hurd and Nate Gartrell Staff writers

A man wanted for the vicious beating of another person at the Richmond BART station last month has been arrested, authoritie­s said Tuesday.

In a statement, BART officials said the 45-year-old Fairfield resident was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in the Jan. 2 attack. The man remained at the Martinez Detention Facility on Tuesday in lieu of $1.08 million bail, according to jail records. He also is suspected of battery with great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, authoritie­s said.

Police interviewe­d witnesses and officers at the scene and obtained a warrant for his arrest. Investigat­ors arrested the man at about 2:40 p.m. Monday in Martinez, according to BART.

Authoritie­s said the suspect walked up to a male waiting in line at the ticket-fare machine about 2:30 p.m. and punched him, without provocatio­n, with his right hand. The punch appeared to knock out the victim, and the suspect stomped on his groin and head while the victim was unconsciou­s, police said. The blow to the head caused blood to splatter.

One witness who spoke with police said the suspect uttered words such as, “I would kill,” or, “That's what happens when,” during the beating, authoritie­s said. The witness told police it appeared the suspect was trying to “eliminate the victim,” authoritie­s said.

The victim suffered major injuries and was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital in Oakland, according to police. He spent three days in a medically induced coma before reawakenin­g, police said.

Investigat­ors used Clipper card informatio­n and video to track and identify the suspect. Authoritie­s said on Jan. 28, BART posted a picture of the suspect and a companion with him on its social media. A Contra Costa County probation officer identified both of them, and authoritie­s subsequent­ly obtained the warrant.

The suspect has a long criminal history, according to authoritie­s. Among his previous conviction­s are cases of battery, pimping and human traffickin­g, authoritie­s said.

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