Man leaps to safety after being pushed onto BART tracks

Police said the man was able to narrowly avoid being hit by the train due to his “quick actions.”

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of pushing a man onto the BART tracks at the downtown Berkeley station. File photo: Pete Rosos

Update, 1:30 p.m. BART police identified the suspect as Roli Okoropudu, a 34-year-old unsheltered woman. She has been booked into Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and probation violation.

Berkeley police saw the woman sleeping on a bench near the downtown Berkeley BART station Tuesday morning and notified BART officers that she matched the description of the person they were trying to find. BART police then took Okoropudu into custody at 8:35 a.m.

BART police said the woman had been lying on a bench on the train platform Monday night when a man walked down the stairs to the platform. The woman “suddenly leapt to her feet and pushed the victim with both hands” as a Richmond-bound train arrived at the platform, police said, and the man was able to squeeze between the train and the platform to avoid being struck.

Original story: A woman was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of intentionally pushing a man onto the tracks at the downtown Berkeley BART station Monday night.


The assault happened as a train was entering the station at 9:18 p.m, BART police said, but the man was narrowly able to avoid being hit due to his “quick actions.”

The distance from the platform to the trackway is about 5 feet, according to BART spokesman Jim Allison, and the man was able to jump from the tracks to the wall ledge without assistance. A train operator helped him onto a train, and Berkeley firefighters determined he only had a minor ankle injury. BART police took him home after he declined further medical treatment.

On Monday night, officers searched the station and obtained video of the assault, but couldn’t initially locate the person who was responsible for the assault.

On Tuesday at about 9 a.m., BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez said a woman had been arrested. Her name has not been released.


The agency notified the federal Transportation Security Operations Center of the assault as part of its routine process for violent crime at a station.

Supriya Yelimeli is Berkeleyside's general assignment reporter. Email: supriya@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: SupriyaYelimeli. Phone: (510) 585-8315.