Police on Friday were investigating whether a crime was committed after a video surfaced showing a Metro Blue Line passenger dragging an unconscious man off the train after saying he didn’t want his commute to be delayed, according to the man who filmed the video.
The incident happened Wednesday night as the train approached the Willow Station, according to the man who filmed the video, who asked to be identified only as Billion.
Fox 11 first reported on the recording and aired a portion of the video, which shows other passengers confronting a man in a suit as he drags the unconscious man onto the platform and asks for someone to hold the door for him.
The video shows the unconscious man’s pants falling down, leaving his genitals exposed, as the suited man positions him outside the train and onto the platform.
In the fully unedited, graphic video—warning, there is nudity and language—the man who dragged the unconscious rider off the train says, “There are other people who want to get home,” at about the 1:20 mark.
Billion told the Long Beach Post that he noticed the situation after it had already begun unfolding. Other passengers told him the unconscious man had a seizure and had thrown up, prompting the man in the suit to ask for help moving him.
“First he asked people to help him drag him from his seat off the train,” Billion told the Long Beach Post.
When the other passengers objected, the man acted on his own, according to Billion.
“All of us on the train were like, ‘Get your hands off him,’ ” Billion said.
One passenger was especially angry at the man in the suit, saying he had no right to assume the unconscious man had been partying too much, according to Billion.
Before the train pulled into the station, another passenger phoned paramedics, and when it arrived, other riders began holding the doors open to keep the train from leaving, he said.
Billion told Fox 11 the unconscious man was wearing a medical wristband.
“In the top part of his head he had a hole but he also had metal staples in his head looking like he was fresh out of the hospital,” Billion said.
Billion said paramedics arrived a few seconds after he stopped filming. The man was treated for seizures, and was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition, the Long Beach Fire Department told Channel 11.
Police showed up soon after, according to Billion, but he said they had no interest in talking with the man in the suit, who was still at the station.
A Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman disputed that, saying officers contacted the man that night after they responded to the station around 10:30 p.m. to assist medics.
Police haven’t arrested anyone, but they know who the man is and will decide what to do after they finish collecting evidence, spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria said.
“The Police Department received a copy of a video related to this incident yesterday afternoon,” Chavarria said. “Detectives from the Violent Crimes Detail are reviewing the video and will be working with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office to determine if any criminal negligence occurred.”
Metro spokesman Rick Jager told the Long Beach Post that a train conductor reported an unconscious man on the platform to Metro’s dispatch center Wednesday night and authorities were alerted, but they weren’t aware of Billion’s video until Fox 11 approached them.
“Metro is working with our law enforcement partners in investigating an incident this week at the Metro Blue Line’s Willow Station when an unconscious male was removed from a Blue Line train by another rider,” the agency said in a statement.” Obviously, this is very disturbing and we never want to see this on our system. We’re getting all the facts including reviewing the video from the train and the platform, and we’ll share more details when they’re available.”
Billion told the Long Beach Post he took the video hoping to expose the actions of the man who dragged the unconscious man. He said people who know the suited man have contacted him.
“They were disgusted once they saw the video,” he said.
This article has been updated with more details from authorities including responses from police and Metro saying the incident happened at the Blue Line’s Willow Station.
Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.
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