Every so often, a publicized incident — racist texts from San Francisco officers, for one — comes along to remind the Bay Area it is not as inclusive and tolerant as it likens itself to be.
This week is one of those times.
BART police are investigating a man yelling racial slurs like “Chinese fuck” and “Chinese n——” at another man and assaulting him on a Warm Springs-bound train. The video has been seen more than 59,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday.
SFGATE identified the passenger facing harassment as Charles Wu, who says that the suspect boarded on the train by Coliseum Station and talked loudly about Stephen Curry and uttered a racial slur before the video began.
The suspect is first seen leering at Wu, threatening to punch him as passenger begin to move away. When he calls Wu “n—–,” a passenger objects off-screen before the suspect slaps Wu near the shoulder and face.
Wu remains calm until the suspect, seemingly looking for a physical fight, tells him,” I hate you, you fucking Chinese fuck.” As Wu rises to confront him, other passengers stop him and one can be heard saying “He’s not even worth it.”
“The video captures an unfortunate, ugly scene,” BART says on Facebook. “However, several things went right despite the belligerent and bigoted actions of one individual.”
Three riders on the train reported the incident around 10:10 p.m. and BART police boarded at Union City Station to no avail, BART officials say.
Though comments on the Youtube video and Facebook post chastised the man who moved away from the attacker rather than helping, BART officials praised physically removing himself from the threat until police arrive.
“Everyone got loud once he got off, saying he’s a disgrace and stuff like that,” Wu tells SFGATE. “During it, I was just angry and frustrated that this guy is saying all this terrible stuff and no one said anything to stop him.”
BART reports that there are 3.15 crimes per million riders and that they are hiring 40 additional officers. Officials are also asking that witnesses or anyone with information contact police investigations at 510-464-7040 or its anonymous line at 510-464-7011.
UPDATE: Shortly before 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, BART officials announced that they have identified the suspect and are seeking an order to ban him from riding the system.