Six BART patrons are suing the transit system, alleging it didn't do enough to prevent or investigate a series of robberies aboard trains earlier this year at Oakland's Coliseum station.
The lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday concerns three incidents in March and April in which passengers were robbed of cellphones, computers, cash and other items. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
One of the incidents, which occurred April 22, involved dozens of teenagers who jumped fare gates at the Coliseum station rushed aboard a Dublin/Pleasanton-bound train and robbed passengers.
Four of the six plaintiffs in the case, filed by Walnut Creek attorney Paul Justi, were victims of the April 22 attack. They include Russell and Patricia Stapp of Pleasanton and their daughter Amanda, who were returning from a night out in San Francisco, and Mohammad Rasul.
Russell Stapp was beaten when he tried to hold on to his cellphone, the suit says, and his wife's purse was stolen.
Rasul, whom the suit says witnessed the beating of another rider, was carrying a bag containing an heirloom ring. Rasul was on a car on which an unidentified male suspect reportedly yelled to passengers, "All of you get your shit out or you're all gonna get fucked up." Rasul is said to have tried to hold on to his bag, but surrendered it when the man told him, "Let go or you're next."
The other plaintiffs, Timothy Howk and Daniel Mendez, were also reportedly victims of earlier robberies by large groups of suspects -- Howk on April 18 and Mendez on March 20.
The suit alleges that BART withheld video of the April 22 robbery and failed to adequately investigate all three to avoid publicity about crime in the system.
The complaint says that in addition to being robbed, Russell Stapp suffered physical injuries from his beating and that all the plaintiffs suffered mental and emotional hardship resulting from the robberies and BART's alleged failure to aggressively pursue suspects.
BART has said it withheld the video because it showed minors and contained nothing that would help its investigation. Two suspects were arrested in that case, but no charges have been announced. The agency had no immediate comment Thursday on the suit's filing.