OAKLAND (KPIX) — Carlos Perez struggles to sleep these days — the scar on his neck reminds him of what happened on BART seven weeks ago.
Perez was about to hop aboard a train at Oakland’s 12th Street station. It was around 6 p.m., July 15 and, as the train approached, a man jumped him.
“(He) just lunged toward me, sliced my neck and cut me,” Perez recalls. “I realized that blood was gushing down my chest, so then I really started to panic and thought I was going to bleed out.”
Thankfully, the cut missed an artery. Doctors stitched Perez up and released him.
Days later, BART police arrested a suspect: Richard Haines Haskins, who had a list of aliases and a long rap sheet.
Both Perez and his attorney blame BART for failing to protect him from the vicious attack.
“This was an abject failure on the part of BART. The public deserves certain standards anytime they’re riding on public transit,” said attorney Rowena Seto, representing Perez.
BART police admit they’re short-staffed. Of the 200 law-enforcement officer positions the agency has budgeted for, 20 percent remain unfilled. BART says they’re mounting an aggressive campaign to fill those positions but that didn’t help Perez.
“I would just like things to change. I want BART to be safer for everyone. I wouldn’t want this to happen to anybody,” Perez said.