Back-to-back scares rattle Los Angeles Metro buses in a span of hours

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In a span of just six and half hours, two Los Angeles Metro buses were the focus of dangerous and scary situations Monday.  

The first incident happened at around 3:15 a.m. when a Metro bus full of passengers near West Olympic and Flower Street downtown was overrun by people gathered for a street takeover involving an estimated 50 vehicles.  

According to the bus operator, the mob of individuals shot fireworks at the bus and left it covered in graffiti.  

There were also reports that the same group “tagged” a nearby building and attempted to break into a Starbucks on 9th and Flower before eventually being dispersed by officers with the Los Angeles Police department.  

It is unclear if any arrests were made. There were also no reports of injuries.

A Metro bus was tagged and shot at with fireworks
A Metro bus was tagged and shot at with fireworks in Downtown Los Angeles on July 1, 2024. (OnScene.TV)

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable said that law enforcement needs to step up where the continued problem of street takeovers are concerned.

“You’re tasked with protecting citizens, it’s your job,” he told KTLA’s Carlos Saucedo. “You got to crack down, got to stop it. We’ve called repeatedly for the creation of a permanent joint taskforce – LAPD, LASD and state officials – to come in. In other words, to monitor, ID, impound and arrest. 

Not long after that incident, at 9:45 a.m., deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department surrounded a Metro bus at Los Feliz and San Fernando roads in Glendale on reports of an armed passenger.  

Authorities said that all the passengers on the bus had exited when the bus operator, who was wrapping up his shift, noticed a passenger slumped over, reportedly sleeping, in his seat with a gun.  

Law enforcement responds to a report of an armed suspect on a bus in Glendale
Law enforcement responds to a report of an armed suspect on a bus in Glendale on July 1, 2024. (KTLA)

Responding SWAT teams were able to watch the man by viewing Metro’s real-time surveillance cameras inside the bus while they used a bullhorn to get the suspect to wake up. 

The suspect was eventually taken into custody at 11:45 a.m. without incident and a firearm was recovered at the scene.

“He woke up,” Deputy Lucas Darland said. “It was not a violent situation or confrontation at all.”  

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been plagued by recent violence, including several incidents of people killed on buses or trains.  

In May, Metro bus operators staged a “sick out” impacting several bus lines to draw attention to what they were calling a safety crisis.  

Late in June, L.A. Metro board members voted to move forward with a five-year transition to establish a “Transit Community Public Safety Department.”  

Currently, Metro, who used to have its own version of a transit police force between 1978 and 1997, contracts with LAPD, LASD and Long Beach PD for security, though officials at the transportation authority have been critical of the law enforcement personnel hired to provide safety resources to riders.  

Read More: Back-to-back scares rattle Los Angeles Metro buses in a span of hours

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