SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — There were 47 reported assaults on Bay Area Rapid Transit station agents and train operators last year – a statistic that grabbed the attention of the transit system’s Board of Directors at its meeting this week, prompting the board to express its support for vigorous prosecution of such crimes on its employees.

Reported assaults include biting, kicking and punching of station agents. Train operators said they’ve also been subjected to spitting.

“In the last week, I have had five members that we assaulted,” lamented Antoinette Bryant, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and a more than 2-decade station agent. “With the economic times being what they are, a lot of people are angry. They bring that anger to us.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

She told the BART board that she was once assaulted, so badly that she was out of work for 7 months. The suspect, she said, was never prosecuted.

“The issue becomes, when they write up the reports and send them forward, the D.A. have to take it seriously,” she reasoned.

“I’m hoping it’s a first step in more talks, not just a piece of paper,” she said of the board’s “zero-tolerance” declaration at the meeting.

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