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BART arrests man brandishing chainsaws on train [Update]

“We’ve never seen anything like this before”

BART Improves Security Measures After London Bombings Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Update: According to BART, the man with the chainsaws is 47 year old SF resident Patrick Bingman, who was booked into Alameda County Jail Monday afternoon after BART police discovered several outstanding warrants for him.

BART detained Bingman for “making criminal threats,” and his display resulted in several calls to BART police around 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

“The chainsaws were never activated and there were no injuries,” says BART spokesperson Alicia Trost.


On Monday. a Bay Area woman posted a video to Twitter showing a fellow BART passenger wielding a pair of chainsaws in the car and even appearing to try to start one.

The video—which the user of a different account took credit for shooting during the Monday afternoon ride—shows an unidentified man standing in the wheelchair area of a moving trains and waving an electric chainsaw.

He makes a comment about “cutting your freaking head off” (it’s not clear who he’s speaking to) and then proceeds to unpack a second, similar tool from what appears to be its original store packaging.

For about a minute he appears to struggle with the saw, but the video ends before it’s evident whether or not he can get it started.

Further tweets from the same account reveal that the incident happened on a Richmond-bound train in Oakland. The man (and presumably all of his hardware) exited at Lake Merritt, where BART police intercepted him.

The video quickly racked up nearly 8,000 views. BART riders responding with incredulity, outrage, or bemusement.

One of BART’s official accounts responded, “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” and advised riders to report disturbances via the BART Watch app.

Defending against critical responses, BART insisted that there was no way to intervene in the situation while the train was still in operation.

BART has not yet returned requests for comment on the incident. It’s still unclear who the man was or whether he was detained.

According to BART’s “customer code of conduct,” the transit system does not permit riders to “carry or possess any weapon in violation of the law,” which doesn’t usually apply to tools.

But the rules also prohibit “engag[ing] in disruptive, disturbing behavior,” which is surely broad enough to qualify in these circumstances.