A group of teenagers was arrested and charged with felony assault after a massive brawl broke out on the Metro Red Line Thursday, adding fuel to the city’s debate over legislative deterrents to criminal acts on public transportation.
The fight was caught on video at the Gallery Place Metro station, and showed a mob of juveniles exploding off the train onto the platform as onlookers scattered out of the way.
The fight led to about 30 teenagers being removed from the metro by officials. Of those arrested, four of the six teenagers were charged with assaulting a police officer, reports The Washington Post. Metro officials said a 35-year-old man suffered cuts to his face and was targeted by one of the juveniles.
The Democratic D.C. Council struck down a measure Thursday that would have increased penalties for criminal offenders on public transportation. The amendment was proposed to the council’s judiciary committee by Democratic council member Jack Evans and supported by Mayor Muriel Bowser.
“The Mayor feels strongly that we should increase penalties for crimes committed on public transportation,” Michael Czin, communications director for the mayor’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We will continue to fight for this common-sense proposal.”
Council members questioned whether there was any evidence that harsher penalties would act as a deterrent to crime. One council member suggested its focus was too narrow, saying that all crimes in the city deserve equal attention, reports The Washington Post.
Evans argued that the intent of the amendment was to make the metros, buses and parks safer for D.C. residents. The city saw a large spike over the past year in violent crimes committed on the city’s public transportation.
“If we have roaming groups of youths attacking people, that’s unacceptable and something we have to put to a stop,” Evans told Fox 5 earlier in January.
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