Busch Stadium MetroLink platform St. Louis: Approximately 10:50 PM last Sunday night a homeless man (57) leaving the train was shot in the head on the MetroLink platform from a scuffle inside the train. Four male and two female teens (approx. 16-19 years of age) had boarded the train on the East Side (Belleville), shortly thereafter demanded money from a 51-year-old and his 29-year-old son. The son gave up $5 to the thugs but that wasn’t enough, as one of the teens pistol whipped the son demanding more, in a scuffle the gun went off through the train window striking the victim standing on the platform. The victim is not expected to live. There was no security!
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covering this story have been told by police Capt. May Warnecke at a news conference “We can’t have officers everywhere, but at a time like this, of course we want more resources.”
MetroLink (St. Louis) contracts with St. Louis and St. Louis County police, the MetroLink police unit has 38 county and 8 city officers. Metro also employs 37 public safety officers and contracts with a security firm for 120 security guards. That totals 207 public safety, police and security officers. So………where the hell are they?
The Metro’s chief of public safety said “By and large, we have an armed security officer at each platform.” Apparently the Chief doesn’t get out much, I know for a fact that is untrue, I ride the MetroLink every weekday morning and evening. There is an armed guard at the station I get on at because it is the busiest, highest traffic platform on the route, the North Hanley Station. After that……. you seldom see and armed guard at the other stations; and many no security at all. I have been riding from the Hanley Metro Station for nearly 2 years to the downtown area, I can count on one hand how many times a security officer has even checked for my ticket.
MetroLink officials say they try to make their officers visible. With that many security officers, I’d say they are closer to being invisible. The problem may not be in quantity of the officers but the quality. Security is needed to keep more than robberies, killings or assaults from happening. Many young people, teens and early twenty somethings get on, many without tickets, are obnoxious, rude, loud and vulgar ……… ITS A PROBLEM!
The security officers I have seen, do not give me a lot of confidence of having the ability to protect passengers. Many are out of shape individuals, that are difficult to picture defending riders ……….and certainly look incapable of arresting law breaking thugs. They appear to be afraid of many of the punks (male and female) that board. I’m 64 and I feel more comfortable fending for myself than relying on this security force. The security on the MetroLink in St. Louis is far from being adequate.
Later this evening the man that was shot Sunday night died. Now the punk that shot him is facing a murder charge. NO SECURITY, armed or unarmed.