OAKLAND (KRON) — The disturbing weekend incident of mob violence on a BART train is causing another victim to come forward who says she too was attacked on a train.
The young woman told KRON4 BART police did not take her assault seriously enough and she wants answers.
“There were a group of teenagers kind of messing around on the train, hanging off the bars, being loud, but in general, I wasn’t paying much attention to them because they’re teenagers,” Tess Pawlisch said. “Why would I ever be afraid of them?”
Pawlisch says she was sitting on a BART train while traveling through Oakland, looking at her phone on the train when she was attacked.
“All of a sudden I felt a huge punch to my head,” Pawlisch said.
She was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome after suffering multiple blows to the head while riding on a BART train in Oakland back in February.
Her attacker, a teen girl, ran off the train, and witnesses contacted the train operator to let them know that the assailant could still be caught.
“Apparently the train operator seemed a little impatient and just wanted to get going,” Pawlisch said.
The train pulled away from the station and Tess ended up reporting the crime the next day, meeting an officer at the station.
Pawlisch says she was in shock after the attack and didn’t find out about the response until reading an email the witness wrote to BART police.
“Reading about this violent attack that happened to me and how the response immediately afterward was so terrible, and they could’ve done so much more–was really upsetting,” Pawlisch said.
Not only that, a month after the incident, she reached out to BART police to get an update on the investigation.
Not getting a response, she reached out to a BART board member.
She has text messages from her witnesses, one whom a month later says she had not been contacted by police. Another said she was called by police on Apr. 6.
Tess says BART police dropped the ball.
“They could’ve maybe caught these people, maybe if they realize this was a string and a lot of events that were happening on BART, something like what happened over the weekend may not have happened,” Pawlisch said.
In an emailed response to one of the witnesses, a BART police lieutenant agrees that the train operator should have immediately reported the attack to police.
And on Wednesday, the acting deputy chief says he was made aware of the delay in contacting the witnesses in this case two weeks ago.
Pawlisch says she hopes Bart police has truly learned from this incident and is trying to improve–and isn’t just deflecting media scrutiny.
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