An Asian woman who fell victim to what she believes was an attack against her race during a ride in Los Angeles’ Metro in May is now suing the transportation system for allegedly failing to help her.
Background: The incident occurred on the northbound A Line near Compton Station at around 5:30 p.m. on May 17. The victim, 53, was traveling with a male friend from Long Beach to downtown when a woman allegedly began throwing punches at her.
The victim said it all started after she told her friend not to reach out to a pair of younger women standing in the train.
“My friend, he was afraid that one of them would fall so he stretched out his hand to try to help the woman in case she fell. And I told him that did not look good,” the victim told Eyewitness News. “I was like, ‘Take your hand off because you’re a man and she’s a woman. Don’t do that.’”
This allegedly led to another man, and later, the pair of younger women, yelling racist and sexist slurs at her.
One of the women is alleged to have then repeatedly punched the victim, leaving her with bruises and a contusion. When the train finally stopped at Artesia Station, the man who first heckled her reportedly knocked her phone out of her hand.
What the victim is saying: The victim is suing Metro and its employees for failing to help her during the attack, which she believes to be a hate crime. A witness previously told Eyewitness News that the victim was calling the police while trying to make the conductor stop the train for 11 minutes.
The suit claims that the conductor was not far from the scene and that the “ongoing attack” was “in his plain view,” as per the Los Angeles Times. But instead of responding, the conductor allegedly allowed the attack to continue, refused to stop the train and did not call the police.
What’s next: The case is being investigated by the Long Beach Police Department, which has yet to make an arrest. Detectives have been trying to interview the victim but she has not participated since her initial interview, the department said.
The big picture: Metro’s own Operations, Safety and Customer Experience Committee finds dozens of assaults occurring on the A Line. Its latest review of crime trends shows that 52 out of 201 aggravated assaults over an 11-month period occurred on the A line, according to the Long Beach Post.