Update: BART service restored after man who walked on tracks apprehended

BART and Berkeley police on scene at downtown Berkeley BART station on Oct. 9, 2019. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Update, 12:29 p.m.: BART trains have returned to normal service and there should be no more delays as a result of the earlier incident involving a man walking on the tracks between Berkeley stations, BART spokeswoman Anna Duckworth said.

Initially trains were able to pass safely through the stations, but “the person kept hoping back and forth, so we actually stopped train service” for about an hour and a half, Duckworth said.

Police apprehended the man, who “is being 5150’d right now” (an involuntary psychiatric commitment), Duckworth said. His name has not been released.

“He’ll likely face charges once that psychological hold is over,” she said.

A number of people who saw the armored BART SWAT team entering the downtown station, carrying shields and weapons, asked why such an intensive response was warranted for one man in distress.

“He was not cooperative in going into custody,” Duckworth said. “The goal by police was to take him peacefully and safely. That was to protect officers and protect BART systems.”

Update, 12:10 p.m.: BART police have “safely taken the man walking on [the] trackway in Berkeley into custody,” the agency tweeted.

BART is inspecting trains and working to restore service between El Cerrito Plaza and Ashby, according to the tweet.

Original story, 11:19 a.m.: BART suspended service between Ashby and El Cerrito in the Warm Springs, Richmond and Millbrae directions Wednesday morning due to a man walking on the tracks, according to an alert put out by the transit agency on Twitter at 10:17 a.m.

A BART advisory suggests alternative modes of transport.

The response to the incident prompted mutual aid among first responders. BART Police asked Berkeley Fire Department for medical aid a 9:48 a.m., BPD spokesperson Officer Byron White told Berkeleyside.

This developing story is being updated regularly.