Los Angeles Police Sergeant Has Finger Bitten Off During Combative Arrest
A Los Angeles police sergeant had part of a finger bitten off during a combative arrest at a Metro rail station on Thursday, according to department officials. The suspect being detained also sustained minor injuries after officers used force when he resisted. Both the suspect and the sergeant were taken to area hospitals for treatment; neither was named publicly.
The incident occurred around 10:15 am at an unspecified Red Line station where officers saw a man board a train while carrying drug paraphernalia, according to a police news release. The officers confronted the man and escorted him off the train, but as they did so, he became violent and fought with them, prompting them to use force to detain him.
Arrest of Suspect
The suspect was later arrested on suspicion of mayhem and resisting an executive order. However, The Times could not immediately verify the LAPD’s account of the incident.
LAPD Chief’s Statement
In response to this incident, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore released a statement expressing his concern over what happened:
“I am deeply disturbed by the vicious and gruesome attack on our sergeant and his colleagues who were simply conducting routine patrol of the transit line…We remain committed each day to improve safety in our entire transit system with dedicated patrols engaging those who pose risk.”
Rising Concerns Over Passenger Safety On Metro Rail System
This is not an isolated event that has raised concerns about passenger safety on LA’s metro rail system. Two stabbings at Red Line stations in recent weeks have reignited these worries among commuters.
Metro Crime Report
According to its annual crime report, Metro has seen a dramatic increase in violent crimes, with a 24% increase in aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder from 2021 to 2022. The Red Line had nearly twice as many violent crimes (687) as the next line – Blue.
Ridership on Metro Rail System
At the same time that concerns over passenger safety are rising, ridership on LA’s metro rail system is plummeting. Overall commuter numbers rose by only 12% last year compared with 2021. However, the estimated number of train riders was still far below the reported figures for 2019 when there were approximately 93 million riders on the system. Ridership on the Red Line in particular was at just over half of pre-pandemic levels.
The recent incident involving a combative arrest resulting in an LAPD sergeant having part of his finger bitten off highlights growing concerns about passenger safety on LA’s metro rail system. With rising crime rates and falling ridership numbers, it remains to be seen what steps will be taken to address these issues moving forward.