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Sacramento Man Arrested At Lafayette BART Thursday – Assault With A Deadly Weapon


Not an umbrella this time (read our account of another BART incident aboard a train at Orinda Station on our Facebook Page), but riders aboard a Pleasant Hill-bound train got more than they bargained for Thursday after a 23-year-old Sacramento man allegedly brandished a knife and began spitting on patrons.

The bizarre incident was reported to BART police at 4:38 p.m. at Lafayette Station. Patrons said a man later identified as Jalen Garrison of Sacramento began threatening riders with a knife, spat at them, and made “terroristic” threats to inflict harm.

Officers summoned to the station eventually found Garrison, who ran from the station with a black backpack in hand. Garrison was eventually located and confronted by Lafayette and BART police officers on Oak Hill Road, initially declining to comply with officer’s orders. He was subsequently detained by force, with several riders approaching police to identify Garrison as the man responsible for threatening them.

He was issued an official order to stay away from BART and eventually booked at the Martinez Detention Facility for brandishing a weapon, assault with that weapon, and battery.


  1. Yeh but still not as bad as the momma who insisted on diapering her baby next to me on a jammed SF train. That was fun.

  2. Public transportation has always been more of a risk than driving, but for years BART was a nice, air conditioned commuter train. Now it’s like any other public transportation, whether it’s NY subway, or any other method where you’re exposing yourself to the unknown. I’m saddened by this, but not the least bit surprised. As the trains get older, it will only get worse.

    It might be more relaxing to leave the driving to others – but it’s rider beware. If you don’t realize this, you’re not thinking very clearly.

    Stay safe commuters…

  3. My husband I both commuted to SF on BART for 10+ years and both saw a lot of craziness on the train. We refuse to ride it anymore as it’s just gotten too dangerous. Fortunately for us, we are now both retired so we don’t have to commute but we don’t even ride it for Giants games, concerts etc. We’d rather sit in traffic than fear for our lives.

  4. Threatening riders with a knife and making terrorist threats to inflict harm to people is very serious stuff!

    “He was issued an official order to stay away from BART and eventually booked …” WHAT? … sounds like he won’t be locked up very long. Scary!

  5. I was on the train and nearly sat next to this guy, but he looked like trouble. Just after we left Orinda, he just started spitting on this guy, then more people. Then he moved to the open doors area and pulled out a knife… I got off at Lafayette (I did not want to be stuck in the car with him when they locked the doors at the next station), and just when I got downstairs, i heard and saw a rush of passengers fleeing the escalators as he had decided to leave the train.
    It was crazy.

  6. Unlike most people on the trains I guess I’m different and like to look around the car at my fellow passengers and not at a phone. I don’t linger on people and try to smile when someone appears receptive but I can’t tell you how many times some crazy has given me the “what are you looking at?” routine. A couple have advanced on me and one followed me out of my train in the city and followed me to work — even though I went to a different building to throw him off. There are TONS of people like these out there.

  7. If someone hasent already said that there are a lot of people just like him out there I’ll say it. Police can’t be everywhere unfortunately. Glad no one was hurt in this one. I know how it is.

  8. Pick your poison. Driving on Bay Area roads isn’t exactly safe…or cheap, but I understand the desire to escape that woman sitting next to you on BART, changing a baby’s diaper for all to enjoy. Sxit happens.

  9. That’s a shame ! BART used to be the model public transportation. It was cleaner safer nicer than almost any other in the country. In the last five years it’s really changed. I put the blame on the BART board of directors because they’ve had in-house policies to tolerate street people riding the trains all day long in order to stay dry & warm, or cool. most don’t even pay, but jump the fair gates ,plus now I guess they’re considered ‘sanctuary trains’.
    Bart is trying to be a politically correct social justice system now rather than just good transportation. I had relatives take it from the airport out to Lafayette. They pleaded with me that they would not have to take it back to the airport but that we drive them. So we accompanied them back on Bart to allay their fears. We can see what they mean. It seems like it’s no longer the suit-and-tie crowd that rides Bart, but a lot of scary ‘street people’ and hardened types. Very scarry actually!

  10. I tend to agree with David, I consider it toss up what is safety when I think about my evening commute home via Hwy 24 vs my BART rides to SFO. Once or twice a week I get passed by someone weaving multiple lanes doing 90 plus or so on Hwy 24 & glad I was not at the wrong place at the wrong time on HWY 24 or BART for that matter…traffic reports have a fair share of accidents each day and the occasional fatality. Just a lot people on BART and lot of cars on the roads. I tend to believe more stuff will happen on each.

    The good thing about this incident is a number of riders went out of their way to help identify this guy. Have respect for those riders who remained calm, handled it, and found the right time to get involved. Involved citizens is what it is going to take for the BART non sense to be dealt with. Just not enough police to be everywhere all the time.

    • @Chris – Definitely a great deal of that going around, it’s true, though the threat is obviously heightened with the brandishing of a knife.

  11. I feel safe on BART and on the road, but I think the road will always be safer. The difference? On the road, if you’re a good driver (and defensive driver) you’ll be fine. You’re in the comfort of your own car, and by yourself (or commuting partners). You’re in control. On public transportation, you give up control to others, and you’re in a train, bus, etc. with anyone who chooses to ride with you. Including this guy.

    When I was younger, I went with driving and BART. By myself and commuting friends. I now drive by myself, and I’m on the get there when I get there, and leave when I leave shift. I avoid traffic by going in early or leaving late. It’s working out well…

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